Dacoit Sudesh Patel alias Balkharia was pronounced dead by the Chitrakoot police on Wednesday. The announcement came after police officials showed the photographs of Balkharia’s dead body to his relatives and some locals of his native village who confirmed the identity.
Balkharia, who carried a reward of Rs 5 lakh from Uttar Pradesh government and Rs 1 lakh from Madhya Pradesh, had sustained bullet injuries during an exchange of fire with the police in Kihonia village of the district on July 2. Police constables Kailash Singh Yadav and Pushpendra Kumar and a police informer had also sustained bullet injuries in the encounter. They are undergoing treatment at a hospital.
Balkharia had 82 criminal cases registered against him, several of them on charges of murder, attempt to murder and kidnapping for ransom.
Superintendent of Police, Chitrakoot, Pawan Kumar said they got hold of the photographs through sources. His family members and residents of Barui village were shown the photographs who confirmed that they were those of Balkharia, the SP added.
Kumar said the photographs were taken in the jungles of Lakhanpur Pahari in Chitrakoot.
On July 2, a team of district police had laid a trap on a tip-off that Balkharia and members of his gang were moving towards Kihonia. The exchange of firing between the police and the gang reportedly lasted firing for nearly two hours. The dacoits, however, managed to escape into the thickets.
While two constables and an informer suffered injuries, police received information that Balkharia, too, was hit by a bullet in his chest and had died a couple of hours later. In order to verify the information, the police then began keeping watch on conversations of some suspects having links with the gang members. “These conversations, too, mentioned that Balkharia had died,” a police official said.
Besides the July 2 face-off, the police and Balkharia had twice exchanged fire in March earlier this year and once again in May. The wanted dacoit had been active in the ravines of UP and MP since 2009 after the Special Task Force of UP Police had gunned down Dadua and Thokia.