2 criminals shot dead in encounter with UP STF in Prayagraj
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Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) gunned down two supari killers in an encounter in Prayagraj district in the wee hours of Thursday. They were planning to shoot a politician in the district.

The criminals have been identified as Vakil Pandey alias Raju Pandey and Amzad alias Pintu. Both were residents of the Bhadohi district. Vakil Pandey was carrying a reward of Rs 50,000. Over a dozen cases of heinous crimes, including murder, were pending against them.

The two criminals had come to Prayagraj to shoot a politician. On a tip-off, UP STF officials cornered them near Arail in the Naini area early morning. On being surrounded, shooters opened fire on the STF officials. In the exchange of fire, both were killed.

A cop Anil Kumar was injured in the shoot-out. Another STF official had a narrow escape when one of the bullets fired by criminals hit his chest. He survived as he was wearing a bullet-proof jacket. The STF recovered a .32 revolver and a 9 mm pistol and live cartridges from the two criminals.

Both were shooters in Munna Bajrangi and Mukhtar Ansari gangs. After Munna Bajrangi was killed in jail by rivals, both Vakil Pandey and Amzad were working for a Gram Pradhan Dillep Mishra. They had shot dead a deputy jailor Anil Tyagi in broad daylight in Varanasi for a Bihar gangster.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had on Wednesday said that as many as 129 hardened criminals have been gunned down by the UP Police between March 20 and December 31, 2020. “Criminals have no place in Uttar Pradesh, they either face bullets or jail,” he had stated.

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