Murder of Sadhus: soon after arresting the mastermind, UP police guns down two criminals in encounter

On Tuesday, the Uttar Pradesh Police had arrested a former councillor from Etah named Sabir Ali and four of his associates for committing six murders, including that of 3 Sadhus. 3 more criminals were absconding and the police had declared a cash reward of Rs. 25,000 each on Afsar, Mustakeem and Naushad. Yesterday in the Harduaganj area, the UP police have gunned down two of the absconding criminals in an encounter.

Media outlets have covered the encounter while it was taking place near an abandoned area in Harduaganj. Aligarh ASP Ajay Kumar Sahni was also reportedly present on the spot.

According to reports, the police got information of Mustakeem and Naushad hiding in an old building in Harduaganj area. When a police team arrived, the criminals allegedly fired upon the police personnel and escaped. The police team chased the criminals and cornered them in an abandoned house. In the encounter that ensued there, a police official SI Pradeep Kumar has been injured and both the criminals were shot.

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According to reports, the criminals had fired a total of 34 rounds at the police officials before being gunned down. Two country made pistols and some rounds of cartridges have been recovered from them. The encounter took place in the Machua village, about 25 Km away from the district headquarters.

It is notable here that the gang led by Sabir Ali, the former councillor, had reportedly confessed that they targeted the Sadhus in order to frame the four key witnesses in a murder case where Sabir Ali was the prime accused. Sabir Ali had allegedly killed a maulvi in 2016 and served prison time before being granted bail in 2017.

Sabir Ali, along with his associates had then planned to attack and kill Sadhus living in isolated localities because, as per the police, since Yogi Adityanath is the CM of UP, the murder of Sadhus would attract attention and prompt action by the police. Starting from August 12, the gang had killed six persons and injured many others. On September 15, the gang had killed a Sadhu and a farmer couple near the same Harduaganj area. The gang used to leave vital clues that pointed towards the four witnesses testifying against Sabir in the 2016 murder case.

According to reports, the police had asked the media persons to maintain a safe distance from the encounter site while filming. It is notable here that after Yogi Adityanath came to power, the UP police has taken a visibly stronger stance against criminals. More than a thousand encounters have reportedly taken place in the state so far. Many dreaded criminals had even surrendered for the fear of getting killed in encounters while many had cancelled their bails.

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