2 gangsters from Punjab shot dead in Kolkata encounter

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Kolkata, Jun 9 (PTI) Two 'dreaded criminals' from Punjab, who were carrying bounties on their heads, were shot dead by the Special Task Force (STF) of the West Bengal police in an encounter in the New Town area close to Kolkata on Wednesday, officials said.

One policeman was also injured in the shootout that occurred in an apartment block.

The two, who were wanted in a number of murder and robbery cases in Punjab, were also involved in an inter-state arms racket. Arms and ammunition were found stacked in a flat where they were staying since May 22, an official said.

The deceased gangsters Jaipal Singh Bhullar and Jaspreet Singh were carrying rewards of Rs 10 lakh and Rs 5 lakh respectively on their heads.

After getting information from various state agencies about their presence in the flat, members of the STF team raided the building in a housing complex. When they were in the staircase, the two started firing.

'We wanted to arrest them and asked them to surrender.

But as they started firing, we had to fire in self-defence,' Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) of the state STF Vineet Goel told reporters.

The Punjab Police had earlier informed the Bengal police about the two, but no representative of that force was present during the raid, Goel said.

Several rounds of fire were shot during the operation, the STF official said.

He said that Rs seven lakh in cash, several firearms including 9 mm pistols and 89 rounds of ammunition were recovered from the flat.

'They were dreaded criminals and had rewards on their heads,' Goel said.

They have been supplying arms and ammunition to criminals of West Bengal for some time, a police official said.

Personnel of the Kolkata Police and the Bidhannagar Police were also involved in the operation. PTI SCH NN NN

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