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Kingpin of kidnapper gang posing as Dial 100 response cops arrested in Panna forests

Devraj Singh, who carries a cash reward of Rs 25,000, and three policemen were injured in the encounter and chase.

bhopal Updated: Feb 03, 2018 22:09 IST
Anupam Pateriya
Anupam Pateriya
Hindustan Times, Sagar/Bhopal
Abduction,Dial 100,Kidnap
The gang had stolen a Dial 100 police response van and stripped the cops in charge of the vehicle. Using the uniform, they abducted a girl from a Panna village on January 27.(HT FILE PHOTO/REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE)

Devraj Singh, the kingpin of the gang that abducted a girl from a village in Madhya Pradesh’s Panna district last week by posing as policemen with a Dial 100 response van, was arrested after a brief encounter and chase in Panna forests as his pistol malfunctioned.

Singh, who carries a cash reward of Rs 25,000, and three policemen were injured in the encounter and chase that began around 2.30 am on Friday night lasted till Saturday morning.

On January 27, Singh, and four accomplices kidnapped a girl from her home in a remote village in Panna, posing as policemen. They used a Dial 100 van and police uniform that they stole earlier from policemen — whom they stripped — in charge of the van.

While the four others were arrested and the girl rescued on Wednesday from Tikamgarh where they had brought her after taking her to several places in the state and Delhi, Singh had been absconding.

Panna superintendent of police, Riyaz Iqbal said on studying Singh’s crimes, they realised he worked in a pattern. “He generally returned to his native area after some time of the crime for collecting money. So we were waiting for his return.”

“On Friday midnight, our informer gave us a tip about his location. Technical support from cyber cell also helped us locate him in Panna’s Matri Kuthar jungle area under Devendranagar police station limits,” he said.

Iqbal said he formed a police team, which was sent into the forest area. “We surrounded Devraj, but he fired using his country-made pistol. Two rounds were fired from his side while nine to ten were fired by us. When Singh wanted to fire the third round, his pistol got stuck and he started to run. A police team started chasing him. Devraj fell into an old well-type structure from where we finally caught him,” he said.

The SP said Devraj’s leg was injured while three police personnel, including town inspector Arvind Singh Danghi, constable Neeraj and constable Rahul (cyber cell) suffered injuries while chasing him.

All the injured, including Singh, were admitted in a hospital.

Police have seized the country-made pistol and some bullets from Singh. Singh had been banished from the district for his criminal activities.

Panna police said they would verify some accomplices’ claim that Devraj abducted the girl because of a love affair.

First Published: Feb 03, 2018 16:19 IST