Three people wanted in several criminal cases in Uttar Pradesh were killed in an encounter, while another managed to escape early Sunday morning, the police said.
"The three killed in the encounter have been identified as Shamshad, Ghulam Ghaus and Shakeel Ahmad, who had several criminal cases pending against them," police inspector Kalyan Singh told IANS.
Ghulam and Shakeel were from Kanpur district while Shamshad belonged to Allahabad, Singh said.
The police have launched an intensive search operation to nab the fourth person, who was accompanying the three but who managed to escape during the encounter, Singh added.
The gun battle took place at around 4 a.m. in Aashiyana locality in Lucknow, and three country made pistols and several live cartridges were seized from the criminals.
"All the men were in a Maruti van, without any number plates, and were intercepted during a routine vehicle-checking drive after which they opened fire at the police," said Singh.
According to police records, the three men carried a reward of Rs.20,000 each on their head.