Two days after the Madhya Pradesh government increased the reward on dacoit Sudesh Patel alias Balkharia from Rs 25,000 to Rs 1 lakh,the UP police also stepped up its anti-dacoit operations in the ravines along UP-MP border and attached 16 bigha land owned by him in Chitrakoot.
Balkharia had killed eight men in Chitrakoot last month. The police is also sending a proposal to the state government to increase the reward money on him from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh.
On Monday,the police also arrested a local shopkeeper Rakesh Patel who had provided six simcards to Balkharia on fake address. Two of the simcards were issued in the name of women.
The police arrested Rakesh Patel from his shop at Karwi area of Chitrakoot.
Earlier,on Sunday,acting on a tip-off,the police conducted a search at thickets of Raipura and Manikpur in Chitrakoot. Although,they failed to catch Balkharia but arrested two local persons and recovered food and other daily items,including soap and cigarettes,apparently meant for the dacoit. The arrested men are Balkharias cousin Ram Chandra and his father-in-law Dev Saran.
Balkharia,who has over 50 criminal cases against him,is wanted by both UP and MP police. He had been lying low for the past few years after the previous Mayawati government eliminated most gangs in the Banda-Chitrakoot region.