Five kidnapped men freed after gunbattle with dacoits

June 23rd, 2009 - 10:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhopal, June 23 (IANS) Five employees of an Indore-based private firm, abducted by dacoits on Sunday, were freed after a gunbattle between police and the dacoits in Agra district of Uttar Pradesh, police said here Tuesday. Another kidnapped employee was found dead.
The six were kidnapped by dacoits from the Kanera Irrigation Project site in Kachhpura village, 400 km from here, in Chambal region of Madhya Pradesh Sunday evening.

The dacoits belonged to the Pandit gang, which usually operates in Uttar Pradesh.

The villagers near the site had fired at the dacoits to stop them from taking away the men, but they managed to escape with their captives towards neighbouring Uttar Pradesh.

Madhya Pradesh police soon swung into action to free the men. It also announced an award of Rs.10,000 each on dacoit leaders Rajnarain and Rajkumar.

Later, the police of three states - Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh - jointly combed the area. The police team from Madhya Pradesh engaged the dacoits in a gunbattle near Agra Tuesday morning, whereupon the dacoits fled leaving the five captives.

Those abducted included the site engineer of the company Sharad Jhanwar (32), mechanic Dilip Ojha (35), gunman Santosh Pachouri, driver Salim, employees Abhimanyu Tripathi and Suresh Maheshwari. While the first five have been freed by the police, the body of Suresh Maheshwari was found in the ravines.

“Our police had an encounter with the dacoits on the borders of Agra district in the morning and compelled them to free the captives. According to the employees of the company, Suresh was not well and was unable to walk in the ravines, so the dacoits had left him alone. There are no injury marks on his body, which makes us believe that he might have died of illness,” Chambal range Inspector General R.B. Sharma told IANS.

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