Lakhimpur, September 4: A person accused in more than 60 criminal cases, including drug peddling and robbery, was injured in a police encounter when he attempted to escape from custody in Assam’s Lakhimpur district, an officer said on Saturday.
The incident happened at Lakhimpur bypass on Friday night when a team of police personnel opened fire on the accused after he tried to snatch a rifle from a policeman, the officer said.
The man was apprehended for allegedly stealing around Rs 30 lakh from an ATM in Naoboicha, Lakhimpur Superintendent of Police Bedanta Madhab Rajkhowa said.
“The criminal tried to escape from custody by snatching an AK-47 rifle of a policeman, following which police personnel opened fire on him, and he received bullet injuries on his knees,” the SP said.
He was admitted to a local hospital where his condition was stated to be out of danger.
Since the second BJP-led government assumed power nearly four months ago, at least 21 suspected militants and criminals were killed and 35 others injured in police encounters in the state as they allegedly tried to snatch service weapons or attempted to escape from custody.
The unabated police encounters have whipped up a political furore in Assam with the opposition parties accusing the police under the Himanta Biswa Sarma government of indulging in “open killings” and turning “trigger happy”.
Unfazed by criticism of his government over recent encounter killings, Sarma had said in the assembly that the state police has “full operational liberty” to fight against the criminals within the ambit of law.
Taking suo moto cognisance, the Assam Human Rights Commission had on July 7 asked the state government to institute an inquiry into the circumstances that led to the death and injury of the accused in the recent police encounters. (PTI)