Dawood's right hand gunned down attempting to escape

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Lucknow, Oct 24 (UNI) Underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's right hand Noor Baksh alias Noora's third bid to escape from police custody today proved his undoing and he was gunned down near the Lucknow jail this morning.

Noora was being taken to a local court for appearance in a case, when two men on a motorcycle tried to facilitate his escape.

In the ensuing shootout, Noora was killed, while the two motorcycle-borne accomplices managed to escape.

''In the process, the duo had handed over a 9 mm pistol to Noora to enable him attack the police escort...but he was killed by a joint team of Special Task Force (STF) and Lucknow police,'' said a senior officer.

During the previous two efforts, Noora had managed to escape, but was caught soon after.

A police sub-inspector Bhanu Pratap Singh and three constables were injured in the shootout. They were being treated at a local hospital.

Meanwhile, state DGP Vikram Singh rushed to the site of the encounter near the Lucknow jail.

An active member of Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Shakeel gang, Noor Baksh alias Noora was involved in the attack on rival don Chhota Rajan a few years ago.

An Afghan national, Noora was a native of Balochistan in North West Pakistan. He came to India as a dry fruit merchant, but soon ganged up with Dawood. He helped Dawood's men get fake passports.

Noora was also accused of helping two Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants escape from police custody from Lucknow earlier this year.

''There were reports that he used to help the arrested Hakat-ul-Jehad Islami (HuJI) and LeT militants converse through mobile phones...he worked as a point man enabling the arrested terrorists interact with each other,'' said a police officer.

Noora had fled from police custody from a moving train, while being taken back to Bangalore after an appearance in a court in Lucknow in October, 2005. But soon after he was arrested from the state capital in November, 2005 from near the passport office.

A passport form carrying his photograph under the name of Ali Baksh, Rs 1,180 in cash, five PCO receipts of calls made to the D-company and a mobile phone were recovered from his possession in 2005.

Noora was earlier arrested in 2000 while trying to acquire a fake passport in Lucknow, but had fled from police custody in 2001 while being taken back to Naini jail in Allahabad and was re-arrested a couple of days later by a joint team of STF and Special Cell of Delhi Police.

He was transferred to Bangalore jail in January, 2005 in connection with a case. He was brought to Lucknow in October, 2005 for hearing of an appeal filed by him in the High Court during which he fled from a moving train near Itarsi (Madhya Pradesh).

During interrogation, Noora had confessed that he had been in touch with the underworld after fleeing from custody and come to Lucknow to acquire a passport.

''Bhai (Dawood) had instructed that I should come to Lucknow as it would not be easy to get a passport from Mumbai due to strictness following the arrest of Abu Salem and had also said a person in the cash division of the passport office would help me in the task,'' Noora had then told the STF.

UNI

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