Bandit gunned down after 50-hour siege, four cops killed (Lead)

June 18th, 2009 - 3:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, June 18 (IANS) After battling over 400 heavily armed police personnel for more than 50 hours in an Uttar Pradesh village, bandit Ghanshyam Kewat was Thursday shot dead after he tried to escape by jumping off the roof of the house under siege.
Before attempting his escape, Kewat killed a constable of the Special Task Force (STF), taking the number of police personnel killed in the prolonged gunbattle in Suruwal Rajapur village in Chitrakoot, 280 km from here, to four.

Director General of Police (DGP) Vikram Singh confirmed that Kewat, who headed a gang that operated in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh and was wanted for over two dozen murders, abductions and other crimes, had been gunned down.

The gunbattle had started Tuesday night after an STF team reached Suruwal Rajapur on a tip-off that bandits, including Kewat, were hiding there.

“Kewat was on the first floor of a house that the cops had covered for the past 30 hours. However, he managed to reach the roof and jumped into the fields behind,” a police official present at the spot told IANS.

He had also tried to escape earlier Thursday.

Giving details, Additional Director General of Police Brijlal, who is heading the operations, told IANS: “Kewat made a desperate attempt to escape from the village at around 2.30 a.m. by firing indiscriminately. However, the entire village has been surrounded by us and the return fire by our cops forced him to turn back and take cover.”

A commander of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and a police constable were killed Wednesday morning and a constable of the Special Operations Group was killed Tuesday night.

Over a dozen policemen, including two senior officers, were injured in the exchange of bullets. Inspector General (IG) of the PAC B.K. Gupta and Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Banda range S.K. Singh had received bullet injuries Wednesday afternoon and were rushed to Allahabad by a helicopter.

“Both Gupta and Singh sustained bullet injuries in their lower abdomen. They have been admitted here (Lucknow). I visited them Wednesday evening and the doctors said they are fine and recovering fast,” DGP Vikram Singh told reporters.

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