Lucknow/Ghaziabad: In a major crackdown on criminals in western Uttar Pradesh, three wanted law-breakers were killed while six others arrested in seven encounters in four districts, in which six policemen were also injured, officials claimed on Sunday.
Saharanpur, Ghaziabad, Gautam Buddha Nagar and Muzaffarnagar were the districts where shoot-outs took place in the past 24 hours in which three "criminals were killed and seven arrested", DIG (Law and Order) Praveen Kumar said.
Six policemen were also injured in the encounters, he told reporters in the state capital.
After it swept the UP Assembly polls, the Yogi Adityanath-led government has repeatedly claimed that improving law and order was one of its priorities.
One of the gun-fights that took place today was in Sector 119 (phase-3) area in Gautam Buddha Nagar where Shravan Chowdhury, carrying a reward of Rs 1 lakh, was injured, while his accomplice escaped, police officials said.
Chowdhury was taken to a district hospital, where he died during treatment, they said. Crime Branch Inspector Balwan Singh and constables Satyaveer and Sanjeev were also injured in the encounter, the DIG said.
In Saharanpur, a notorious gangster, Salim, was killed in a shootout in which Sub-Inspector Sachin Sharma of Mandi police station was also hurt, Saharanpur Senior Superintendent of Police Bablu Kumar said.
Acting on a late-night information that a gang had robbed a farmer of Rs 1 lakh and a motorcycle in Manoharpur village under the Sarsawa police station area, a swift action police team was deployed to nab the criminals, he said.
The SWAT team spotted bike-borne gangsters coming from Chilkana side and flagged them to stop, but they opened fire, the official said. The police returned fire, killing one of the gangsters, while another fled under the cover of darkness, he said.
The slain criminal was identified as Salim, Bablu Kumar said.
The police recovered the looted money and the bike of farmer, Nawab, besides a pistol and several rounds of cartridges, the SSP said.
Another shoot-out occurred in the area under Vijay Nagar police station in Ghaziabad, where a local history sheeter, carrying a reward of Rs 25,000, was involved, Ghaziabad SSP Vaibhav Krishna said.
Sunder (35), hailing from Pilkhuwa town, was wanted in five cases of attempt to murder, killing and robbery, he said.
SSP Krishna said the encounter took place around 8.15 pm yesterday near Akbarpur Bahrampur on national highway 24. Sunder was on a bike, and when the police signalled him to stop, he fired on the police team, he said.
The police returned fire hitting Sunder in the right leg, Krishna said, adding Vijay Nagar SHO Naresh Kumar was also injured. Both Naresh Kumar and Sunder were admitted to a hospital, officials said.
A country-made pistol, a knife and a few live cartridges were seized from Sunder, the official said.
The SSP said Sunder today died at a private hospital in Noida.
As reports of encounters poured in, UP DGP O P Singh said wrong-doers would not be spared and the long arm of the law will catch up with them.
"Encounters are not planned. But if anyone attacks us, we will deal with them with an iron hand," Singh told PTI when asked about the spate of gun-fights.
In another encounter in Noida's Dankaur town, two criminals were injured while two of their accomplices escaped, police said.
The two injured criminals, Asraf and Salim, residents of Sambhal district, were later arrested. The four persons allegedly stole a truck from the sector 39 area, police said.
The police claimed to have seized a country-made pistol, three empty cartridges, six live cartridges and a truck from their possession, they said.
Another gun-fight took place in neighbouring Dadri where Jitendra, carrying a reward of Rs 25,000 on his head, was arrested, a senior police officer said.
In Muzaffarnagar district, two criminals - Raees and Javed - were injured in a shoot-out in Budhana area after which they were arrested, police said. During the encounter a policeman, Sauveer, was also injured.
Twelve cases of loot and murder were pending against the two criminals.
In yet another encounter in Ghaziabad, a wanted criminal, Rahul, was arrested while constable Sachin was injured in the Sihani gate area, the police official said.
The Sihani Gate police last night signalled a biker to stop for checking. After halting, the rider opened fire on the police team and tried to escape. In retaliation the police fired during which the rider, later identified as Rahul, and a constable sustained bullet shot injuries, police officials said.
Both were rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Rahul had committed crimes in Ghaziabad, Hapur and east Delhi, officials claimed.