Guwahati/Kokrajhar: Three suspected dacoits were shot dead as they tried to rob a bank in Assam’s Kokrajhar district in the early hours of Sunday, police said.
The police had intelligence input that a gang of dacoits would attempt to rob an Allahabad Bank branch at Bhotgaon near Kokrajhar town, a senior police officer of the district said.
A previous attempt of robbing the same branch was foiled three months back, he said.
The gang was intercepted at Chengmari near Bhotgaon around 2.30 am, the officer said.
They allegedly opened fire on the security personnel on being intercepted, and in retaliatory firing by the police, three dacoits were injured, he said.
Other members of the gang managed to escape, the officer said.
The injured dacoits were taken to a nearby hospital where they were declared dead, he said.
Motorcycles, mobile phones, tools, gas cutters, two pistols along with oxygen cylinders were recovered from those killed, the officer said.
“The operation was on till late night to flush out rest of the dacoits,” Director-General of Police Bhaskarjyoti Mahanta said.
Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma lauded the efforts of the police in preventing the bank robbery.
“A robbery gang was neutralised by Assam Police in Kokrajhar. This prevented a big bank robbery,” he said.
Sarma also appreciated the police for nabbing 15 alleged Taliban supporters on Saturday from different parts of the state.
“Assam has to be crime-free. Murder, violence, hatred — these all have to be eliminated from the state. And we will continue to work till we achieve our goal,” he added.
The death toll in purported police encounters in the state rose to 20 with this incident, while 31 persons were injured as they allegedly attempted to escape from custody since the new BJP-led government under Sarma assumed charge in May.
Sarma’s government is under fire from the opposition parties and rights activists for the rising number of people being killed in police shootings.
However, the chief minister has maintained that the state police has “full operational liberty” to fight criminals within the ambit of the law.
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