Dreaded bandit killed in gunbattle with police

August 4th, 2008 - 4:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Aug 4 (IANS) Dreaded bandit Ambika Prasad Patel alias Thokia was shot dead by the Special Task Force (STF) of the Uttar Pradesh police after a gunbattle in the ravines of Chitrakoot district in the early hours of Monday, officials said. Thokia carried a cash reward of Rs.500,000 on his head.

“The other gang members managed to flee and a hunt has launched for them,” senior superintendent of police (STF) Amitabh Yash told IANS on phone.

Sub-inspector H.S. Yadav of Bharatkoop police station added: “Some of his gang members were also injured in the ambush and we are searching for them.”

Operating in over 100 villages on the borders of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, Thokia had over 50 cases of robbery, murder and kidnapping lodged against him.

The police trailed him after a tip-off.

Four weapons, including a semi-automatic rifle and two single barrel guns, were recovered from Chilkhori village, about 300 km from here, where the gunbattle between his gang and the police took place.

Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police Vikram Singh visited the spot.

“The operation (against the bandits) has not been called off as yet and we will ensure that the all the dacoits of the entire region (Bundelkhand) are nailed,” he said.

On July 23 last year, in a similar gunbattle, Thokia and his gang ambushed a patrol party of the STF and killed six policemen and injured four in the ravines.

The gang’s attack came a day after the STF had gunned down another bandit, Shiv Kumar alias Dadua and nine of his gang supporters in the same ravines of Chitrakoot.

Dadua also carried a reward of Rs.500,000 on his head.

Thokia had then taken over the reins of Dadua’s gang and merged it with his.

Thokia formed his gang in 2001 and used to run it like a corporate house. Besides paying monthly salaries to his gang members, he also used to conduct periodic performance reviews.

According to STF sources, Thokia’s armoury included Russian-made binoculars, electronic gadgets, mobile phones and sophisticated weapons.

He was most recently operating from Chhattarpur district of Madhya Pradesh.

The police said there were at least 50 brigands in the region and the force was looking for them.

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