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Assam: Three accused injured in police firing while 'attempting to escape custody'


Hojai/Rangia, Nov 21: Three accused people, including an alleged drug trafficker, were injured in three separate incidents of police firing in Assam's Hojai and Kamrup (Rural) districts when they "attempted to escape custody", police said on Saturday.

The incidents took place on Friday night and the injured people are undergoing treatment at different hospitals, where their condition is stated to be stable, a police officer said.

An accused facing charges of grabbing forest land and attempting to murder government officials was injured after police opened fire on him when he tried to snatch a gun from one of the law enforcers and flee, Hojai Superintendent of Police Barun Purkayastha said.

"The accused was being taken to the house of another suspect, based on information given by him. As the police team got off the vehicle and started walking in the direction he was leading, he snatched a firearm from the officer in-charge of Lumding police station and fired at our team," he said.

The SP said that the bullet hit the police vehicle and in order to prevent the accused from escaping, police shot him in the leg.

In another incident in the district, an alleged motorcycle thief jumped out of the police vehicle while being taken by a team of Doboka police to identify his collaborator, Purkayastha said.

As he tried to flee, police had to shoot at his leg to ensure he didn't escape, the officer said. Both have been admitted to Nagaon Civil Hospital and are in a stable condition, the SP said. The third such incident took place in the Amingaon area of Kamrup (Rural) district.

SP Hitesh Chandra Ray said that an alleged drug trafficker, who was arrested along with two others on Friday, had tried to snatch a pistol and flee when a police team was searching a truck from where a cache of drugs was recovered.

"We had to shoot him in the leg so that he couldn't run away. He is undergoing treatment and is in a stable condition," he added. The truck was intercepted near Byrnihat along the Assam-Meghalaya border by a joint team of Kamrup and Guwahati city police earlier in the day and two of the accused held, the SP said.

The third accused, who was injured in police firing, was later arrested from the Bhetapara area of Guwahati on the basis of information provided by the other two alleged traffickers, he added.

Half a kg of heroin, valued at Rs 4 crore, was recovered from the truck, Ray said, adding that the trio hail from Manipur. Since the Himanta Biswa Sarma government came to power on May 10, Assam has witnessed a series of incidents of police firing on accused people who purportedly tried to escape from custody, with at least 26 of them killed and 47 others injured to date.

The Opposition alleged that the state police has become 'trigger-happy' but the chief minister said that the law enforcers have full operational liberty' to fight the criminals within the ambit of law.

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