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Lucknow cash van loot & murder: Assailant’s daredevilry puzzles cops, hunt widens to other dists

The brazen manner in which the assailant shot dead the van guard of a private cash collection agency and looted Rs 6.44 lakh in a high security zone on Monday has left the police puzzled.

lucknow Updated: Aug 01, 2018 13:29 IST
Rohit K Singh
Rohit K Singh
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Lucknow cash van loot,Murder,Assailants
An armed miscreant shot dead the van guard of a private cash collection agency, injured its officer and looted Rs 6.44 lakh from the van in the high security zone just opposite Raj Bhawan Colony in Lucknow.(HT Photo)

The brazen manner in which the assailant shot dead the van guard of a private cash collection agency and looted Rs 6.44 lakh in a high security zone on Monday has left the police puzzled.

The crime spot is just outside the residence of state law minister Brajesh Pathak that is a few metres away from the Governor House.

Investigators suspect that the assailant might have been from some district other than Lucknow or from any other state as he did not try to conceal his identity and even drove the motorcycle brandishing a firearm.

A senior officer in UP special task force (STF), who reviewed the video footage of the incident, said: “The accused executed the crime single-handedly and carried three firearms with him. He held a pistol while driving the motorcycle and passed through several areas unchallenged. He did not even bother to cover his face.”

“The assailant’s daredevilry clearly shows that he is a hardened criminal. He indiscriminately fired over half-a-dozen rounds without thinking twice. The video footage indicates he is an expert shooter and uses firearms frequently,” he said.

“He did not try to hide his face which shows he must have been sure that no local policeman or resident would identify him even after seeing him at the spot of crime or in the video footage,” he said.

The officer added that the Lucknow police were carrying out an extensive two-wheeler checking drive and had the criminal been from Lucknow, he would have been aware of the campaign and used a helmet to avoid being stopped by the traffic police.

‘ILLEGAL FIREARM MADE IN MP USED IN CRIME’

A senior STF officer, who did not wish to be named, said the assailant’s firearm that fell on the spot when a passer-by Prabhkar Pandey tried to stop him, hints that the criminal was from some remote district of west UP or some other state.

He said the pistol appeared to have been made in Madhya Pradesh.

“The country-made pistols manufactured in Madhya Pradesh are generally preferred by criminals of Rajasthan, Haryana and west Uttar Pradesh. The criminal gangs of Lucknow, its adjoining areas or east UP use weapons made in Munger (Bihar) or by some local gangs,” he added.

Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Lucknow Kalanidhi Naithani said the recovered pistol was similar to firearms supplied from some places in Madhya Pradesh.

He said a local tribe called Sikligars in some districts of Madhya Pradesh manufactured such pistols which were replicas of Germany-made Mauser pistols. These firearms are supplied to different criminal gangs, he added.

The officer said Sikligars were into manufacturing of illegal firearms for the last three centuries.

First Published: Aug 01, 2018 13:29 IST