Kokrajhar (Assam): A suspected ganja smuggler was injured in police firing when he allegedly tried to snatch the service weapon of a police personnel and escape from custody in Kokrajhar district of Assam, a senior official said on Thursday.

According to Kokrajhar Additional Superintendent of Police Surjeet Singh Panesar, a truck coming from Tripura and on the way to Bihar was intercepted on Wednesday night on a tip-off that it was carrying a huge quantity of ganja.

“On thorough search, the police found 55 packets of ganja weighing about 350 kg from the truck. We immediately arrested the vehicle’s driver and handyman, both of whom hail from Tripura,” he added.

During investigation, the driver revealed that he had hidden two more packets of ganja near a bifurcated road from National Highway-31C towards Bhaoraguri, the officer said.

“The accused was then taken to the spot for recovery of the concealed packets of ganja. The police team reached the spot around 1.45 am and recovered the two packets. Suddenly, the accused snatched the pistol of a police officer and cocked to fire upon the police team.”

“Left with no option, the police fired at the accused. He received a bullet injury on his right leg, below the knee and fell down,” Panesar said.

The accused was immediately taken to the Kokrajhar RNB Civil Hospital for treatment and was later referred to the Barpeta Medical College and Hospital, he said.

Altogether 33 people have been killed and at least 79 injured in police action while allegedly trying to flee from custody or attacking the personnel since the BJP government led by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma assumed office in May last year.

The rising number of shootouts whipped up a political furore with the opposition alleging that the Assam Police has turned “trigger happy” and is indulging in “open killings” under the Himanta Biswa Sarma-led government.

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