Bid to hijack cigarette load foiled

Cops triumph felons: They seized a truck carrying fags worth Rs 70 lakh

Ground Zero: Police officers inspect the spot where KG Halli cops had an encounter with dacoits on Govindapura Main Road in Kodigehalli early Tuesday morning. dH photoThe action took place around 4.20 am, on Govindpura Main Road near Nagawara on Ring Road. A seven-member gang -- Harsha, Anand, Ravi, Rajesh, Ravi, Pradeep and Pratap --- all habitual offenders, held up the truck and hijacked the container, belonging to a major cigarette producer.

After travelling a distance, the gang which was driving in an SUV behind the hijacked vehicle was stopped by the police party near Govindapura Cross. The moment they saw the police, they pounced on the men in khaki.

An officer, who was part of the team, told to Deccan Herald: The gang brandishing swords attacked the constables. Inspector T Rangappa, who led the team from the front, sustained injuries after Harsha hit him with a thick metal rod.

‘Calmed down’

The inspector lost his grip of the service revolver after he received injuries on his shoulder but he was quick to pick the revolver from his left hand and pump in two bullets into Harsha's legs.

After this, the situation calmed down  to an extent as the other members got scared and almost surrendered, he added. The cops managed to arrest five while Pradeep and Pratap escaped.

A senior police officer said: “We had specific information that some habitual offenders were roped in to hijack the cigarette container. The buyer had promised to purchase the goods at half the price at one designated spot. Based on this, we deployed our team and erected barricades. When we tried to stop them, they surged ahead and when they realised that their game was over, they
attacked us.”

Preliminary investigations revealed the gang members are associates of Pedda Gunda, a rowdy who was killed in an encounter. Interestingly, there is a twist in the whole tale.

Raju, the container's original driver, had directed cleaner Anand Kumar to drive the vehicle saying he would join him after collecting other relevant papers and cash for travelling expenses.

Anand stopped for dinner near a dhaba and later to attend the call of nature and it was here that the gang waylaid the truck and forcibly bundled him into their SUV and took control of the container.

The police team included KG Halli police inspector T Rangappa, Assistant Sub-inspector Bheemanna, Head Constable Rangadhamaiah, constables Siraj Ahmed, Mahadeva, Bramesh and Ranganath.

Rangappa under went surgery on his shoulder while Rangadhamaiah, Siraj and Bheemanna suffered minor injuries.

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