MARKING the 50th case of encounter killing in UP since the BJP government came to power last March, police Thursday said that a wanted criminal succumbed to bullet injuries sustained during a shootout in Muzaffarnagar earlier in the day.
Police identified the man killed as Rehan and said he was a member of the Mukeem Kala gang with a reward of Rs 50,000 on his head. Rehan had 15 cases registered against him, including those of murder and attempt to murder, police said.
Police claimed that Rehan was on his way to a local hospital to attack a 45-year-old woman and her 11-year-old daughter who, he suspected, were witnesses in a case against an associate. He was travelling on a motorcycle along with another associate at the time of the encounter.
“On December 15 last year, the woman and her daughter were attacked by Rehan and an unidentified associate in the Charthawal police station area when she was on her way to meet her brother. The women and daughter were severely injured but were saved by timely medical intervention. Since then, we had been looking for Rehan,” said Muzaffarnagar SSP Anant Deo.
“On Thursday afternoon, the woman was at the hospital to get her bandage removed when we got information that Rehan might try to attack her again. A police team intercepted him and his associate on the Charthawal-Peena road. In the firing from both the sides, he was seriously injured while his associate managed to flee. We took him to a hospital nearby where he succumbed to the injuries,” the SSP said.
Police said they have recovered a .32 bore pistol and a .315 bore country-made pistol from the encounter site.
With Rehan’s death, at least 50 criminals have been killed in over 1,700 encounters since the new government took over on March 20, 2017. The UP State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) is conducting a probe into four of these alleged encounters following complaints by family members that they were fake.