Updated: November 7, 2021 8:24:21 pm
The leader of the ‘Talpatri gang’ of highway robbers, Hanifkhan alias Kalo Munno Jat-Malek, and his son, Maddinkhan, were killed in an encounter with the Gujarat police at Gediya village on Saturday night, officers said.
According to the police, Hanifkhan, 44, and his 18-year-old son Maddinkhan attacked the team which had gone to apprehend them at their residence in Gediya, Surendranagar district.
The Talpatri gang is called so because it would cut open the talpatri (tarpaulin sheets) that covers goods on moving trucks and steal the stock.
According to the police, on Saturday, a team lead by sub-inspector Virendrasinh Jadeja went to Gediya around 8 pm after getting a tip-off that Hanifkhan had come home for a brief visit. However, when the police team, comprising the PSI, five constables and one Lok Rakshak Dal jawan, tried to arrest him, Hanifkhan fired on them and Maddinkhan attacked them with a scythe. The police personnel “fired in self defence”, hitting the father-son, who died on the way to hospital.
“Hanifkhan had been an absconder for quite long. There were 86 offences against him, out of which he had never been arrested in 59. He had assaulted police personnel earlier too. We had booked his gang under Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crimes Act,” Sandeep Singh, deputy inspector general (DIG) of Rajkot range, told The Indian Express on Sunday.
The DIG said the PSI and four police constables were injured in the encounter and are being treated at hospitals in Patdi and Surendranagar. “The PSI has sustained injuries to his back and hand, while one constable has suffered a fractured hand,” said Singh.
Himanshu Doshi, in-charge superintendent of police of Surendranagar, said the police party was also assaulted by Hanifkhan’s relatives and other residents of Gediya, forcing them to leave without arresting the two. Eventually, the father-son duo was taken to hospital by locals, where they were declared dead..
Doshi said Hanifkhan’s wife Bilkish is also facing six cases, including one registered under GUCTOC Act, and is in judicial custody. Hanikhan’s brother Rashidkhan faces cases of murder and assaulting policemen, and is in jail. Bilkish’s brother Bismillakhan Jat-Malek is also in judicial custody, having been booked for murder and under GUJCTOC, he added.
“In all, members of the Talpatri gang face at least five cases of assaulting police. They used to terrorise truckers on National Highway 8 and on Viramgam-Maliya state highway, attacking them at night,” said Doshi.
Based on a complaint by PSI Jadeja, an FIR has been registered at Bajana police station against Hanifkhan, his son and five others under IPC Sections related to attempt to murder, rioting, assaulting police, criminal intimidation, etc.
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