Salem, Nov 16: Police shot dead a notorious criminal in an encounter near Panamarathupatti in this district, on Sunday, Nov 16 morning.
Police said Gopi, who was facing several cases, including murder, was shot dead when he threw petrol bombs and hacked an Inspector of Police when a police team tried to apprehend him.
The police had spread a dragnet for the criminal who was evading arrest for several years. He was facing more than ten criminal cases, including killing of five members of a family in 2001.
He was also wanted in connection with the theft of a car here recently. On information that he was hiding near a temple in Panamarathupatti, the police team, led by Deputy Comissioner John Nickelson rushed to the area.
On seeing the police, the criminal threw petrol bombs at the police party in a bid to escape. When Inspector of Police Gandhi tried to overpower him, Gopi hacked him with a sickle.
To save his colleague, Mr Nickolson opened fire, killing Gopi on the spot, police added.