Punjab's most wanted gangster Harjinder Singh, alias Vicky Gounder and his accomplice Prema Lahoriya were killed in an encounter with Punjab Police at Ganganagar, near the Rajasthan border.
They were shot dead in a heavy exchange of fire.Two policemen Sub Inspector Baljinder Singh and ASI Kirpal Singh were also wounded in the face-off, Director General of Police (Intelligence), Punjab Police, Dinkar Gupta, said in Chandigarh.
The operation was undertaken by the Organised Crime Control Unit (OCCU), a special group of the Punjab Police.
Acting on a specific intelligence, an OCCU team, led by AIG Gurmeet Chauhan, raided the 'dhani' where the dreaded gangsters were provided shelter by another criminal, Lakhwinder Lakha.
"We went there at 6:30 today and these guys -- Gounder and Lahoria -- came out firing outside the dhani," the DGP said. "Prema Lahoria was killed when he was scaling the boundary wall of the dhani and Gounder was killed when he was coming out firing near its gate," Gupta said.
He said three weapons, including two .32 bore and one .30 bore pistols, were recovered from the spot. He said an unidentified person also suffered injuries and was hospitalised.
Gupta said about 20-25 policemen were involved in today's operation. He said the Rajasthan Police had been informed about the encounter of gangsters. Lakha has also been arrested by the Punjab Police.
Gounder was shot twice. The gangsters also fired over a dozen rounds at the police.
Congratulations to Punjab Police for killing most wanted gangster Vicky Gounder and his aide Prema Lahoria. Excellent work by DGP Suresh Arora, DG Intelligence Dinkar Gupta and OCCU team, including AIG Gurmeet Singh and Inspector Vikram Brar. Proud of you boys.— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) January 26, 2018
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh congratulated the Punjab Police force that carried out the operation. "Excellent work by DGP Suresh Arora, DG Intelligence Dinkar Gupta and OCCU team, including AIG Gurmeet Singh and Inspector Vikram Brar. Proud of you boys," Singh said in a tweet.
Gounder, the mastermind of the 2015 Nabha jailbreak, was a native of Sarawan Bodla village. Wanted in the Rocky murder case, he killed three rival gang members in Gurdaspur in April 2017.
He shot to limelight in January 2015 when his name cropped up as the prime suspect in rival gangster Sukha Kahlwan's murder.
Gounder, whose real name is Harjinder Singh Bhullar, had become a headache for the Punjab Police since his jail escape.
On several occasions, police were on the verge of nabbing him, but he managed to give them the slip, the DGP said. "Police had even conducted raids at his possible hideouts but he remained successful in dodging them," he said, adding Gounder had been moving in and out of Punjab all the while.
In April last year, he even led his accomplices and killed three members of a rival gang in Gurdaspur. Police had even announced a Rs 10 lakh reward to anyone giving any clue about him, the officer said.
OneIndia News (with agency inputs)