Agra/Firozabad, Aug 20 (PTI) A man who allegedly masterminded hijacking of a bus with 34 passengers on board was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police following an encounter in Firozabad district on Thursday, officials said.
The gunfight broke out around 5 am near a village in Fatehabad area between the accused and police teams, including Agra and Firozabad units, and a special operations group, the officials said.
'Key accused Pradeep Gupta and his associate Yatendra Yadav were on a motorcycle but seeing the police check, they opened fire and tried to flee. Gupta got injured in retaliatory firing, while Yadav managed to escape through the farmlands,' Agra Senior Superintendent of Police Babloo Kumar said.
He said police teams are on the search for others accused in the case and will arrest them soon.
Around a dozen people were involved in planning and executing the bus hijacking from Agra late on Tuesday night allegedly over monetary dispute between Gupta and vehicle owner Ashok Arora, a resident of Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, according to the officials.
The bus was recovered from a dhaba in Etawah on Wednesday afternoon, after more than 12 hours of going amiss, with officials saying all 34 passengers on board it were safe and on their way to their destinations in other vehicles.
Gupta, a native of Jaipur but a resident of Agra, is the mastermind of the bus hijacking episode.
He worked as an agent and middleman at the Road Transport Office in Etawah, according to the officials.
Five police teams were formed later for arresting Gupta and those linked in the case.
The teams, including a special operations group (SOG), were scrambled around Agra, Firozabad, Etawah, Mainpuri and nearby areas for the job, the officials said. PTI CORR/KIS SNE