Dacoit shot dead after 51-hr encounter with 400 cops

Lengthy operation was to prevent civilian casualty: Police

The dacoit, holed up in a house in the village since Tuesday when the encounter began, was finally shot dead while he tried to escape by jumping from the first floor of the house amidst police firing.

UP police chief Vikram Singh, while confirming the death of Ghanshyam, said that one more police constable was killed by the bandit on Thursday taking the total number of cops killed in the encounter to four. About a dozen police personnel, including an IG and a DIG were injured in the marathon encounter.

Additional Director General of State Police Brijlal, who himself led the operation, said that dacoit was forced to come out of his hiding place after the police lobbed grenades. The bandit finally came out and jumped off from the first floor of the house. As the police had surrounded the entire area, he could not escape and fell to the volley of bullets. The police had surrounded the entire village and called in for bullet proof vehicles for the final assault. JCB bulldozer machines were also brought in to raze down houses in the village where Kewat was suspected to be hiding. The police also tried to smoke him out from hiding but apparently nothing worked.

The dacoit, who carried a reward of Rs 50,000 on his head, had been operating along the UP-Madhya Pradesh border and had been on the run for several years now.

 The UP police began the operation to pin down Ghanshyam Kewat on Tuesday when the Chitrakoot police received information that the dacoit was in Jamauli village.

 The police obviously did not apprehend that the dacoit would be equipped with enough firepower to keep himself going for more than 50 hours. Additional forces had to be called in from adjoining districts and ammunition was being constantly replenished.

 As the encounter intensified, the police tried to evacuate the villagers and several houses were destroyed in the fire that broke out due to exchange of fire.  The police, however, suspects that some members of the Kewat gang may still be hiding in the village. Combing operations are continuing in the area to flush out other members of his gang.

Kewat was wanted in connection with over two dozen murders, kidnappings, robberies and other crimes, police officials here said.

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