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Bhopal: Three policemen were killed after poachers opened fire at them at a village in Guna district of Madhya Pradesh in the wee hours of Saturday, state Home Minister Narottam Mishra said.

The incident occurred on Shahrok Road near Saga Barkheda village under the jurisdiction of Aron police station, some 160 km from the state capital, around 3 am when the police personnel had gone to nab the miscreants following a tip-off, he said.

Police sources said the body of a person with a bullet injury, suspected to be involved in the incident and believed to have been killed in the retaliatory firing by the police, was also recovered from nearby Bidoria village.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan held a high-level meeting over the incident, following which he announced an ex-gratia of Rs 1 crore as well as government jobs to the kin of each of the martyred policemen. He also transferred the Inspector General (IG) of Gwalior zone, Anil Sharma, for his “delay” in reaching the incident site.

“Following a tip-off about the presence of some miscreants (poachers), a police team reached the spot located under Aron police station in Guna district. After the police personnel surrounded them from all sides, the miscreants started firing at them, in which three policemen were killed,” minister Mishra told reporters.

Police sub inspector Rajkumar Jatav and two constables – Nilesh Bhargava and Santaram Meena – were killed in the firing, he said.

“The incident is saddening and heartbreaking. Instructions have been given to take such a strict action against the criminals, which will set an example,” he said.

After the meeting held at the chief minister’s residence with senior officials of the police department and the administration, Mishra said that seven poachers and miscreants involved in the incident have been identified.

CM Chouhan said, “Our police personnel sacrificed their lives while stopping the poachers in Guna. By giving the status of martyrs to these policemen, their families will be given an ex-gratia of Rs one crore each. One family member of each martyr will be given a government job.”

He said that he has decided to transfer the IG Gwalior immediately for the delay in reaching the spot after the incident.

The state home department later issued an order for the transfer of the IG, in which it named officer D Shriniwas Verma to replace Sharma.

“Criminals involved in the incident have been identified. The body of a man killed by a bullet was also recovered from a nearby village. But further investigation is underway. A strict action will be taken against the criminals to set an example,” Chouhan said.

Meanwhile, police sources said that body parts of four deer and a peacock were also found from the spot where the firing between the police team and poachers took place.

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