Punjab’s most wanted gangster Harjinder Singh, alias Vicky Gounder, and key aide Prema Lahoria were killed in an encounter on Friday evening near the Punjab-Rajasthan border, police said.
A third gangster shot in the operation led by the State Crime Control Unit died of his injuries at the Civil Hospital in Abohar. He was later identified as Sukhpreet Singh.
Inspector General Special Operations Group Nilabh Kishore said the police got a tip-off that Gounder was near the Punjab -Rajasthan border area and the police conducted the operation to nab him at Hindumal Kot village of Abohar subdivision in Fazilka district.
He added that two police personnel including a sub-inspector and assistant sub-inspector were injured in the shootout and have been admitted to hospital.
The police recovered three weapons, including two .32-bore pistols, from the gangsters.
Director General of Police (intelligence) Dinkar Gupta said, “We got a tip-off that Vicky Gounder and Prema Lahoria were at Pakki village in Sri Ganganagar district of Rajasthan, barely 50 metres from the border with Punjab, at the house of another gangster, Lakhwinder Singh, alias Lakha.”
“After our sources confirmed their presence, we surrounded the house. The gangsters opened fire on the police. Lahoria was killed when he was trying to escape by jumping the boundary wall. Gounder was also killed inside the house,” Gupta said.
The encounter went on for over an hour. Lakhwinder Singh Lakha was arrested.
The police initiated a combing operation in the area. Meanwhile, the Rajasthan police also arrived on the scene.