Health Care

Most wanted gangster Vicky Gounder, aide killed in encounter

Vicky Gounder had remained elusive ever since he fled from the Nabha jail in November 2016

The most wanted criminal of Punjab, Vicky Gounder, was killed along with his two close aide, identified as Prema Lahoria and Sukhpreet, in a police encounter in Hindumal Kot area of Ganganagar district in Rajasthan on Friday. A Swift Dzire vehicle with fake number plate was recovered from the house.

Vicky had been involved in several cases of highway robbery, claims police - apart from having many other criminal cases registered against him. He eluded capture despite police getting intelligence reports that he was mostly in Punjab after the jailbreak. The daredevil murder of Sukha took place when the criminal was being taken to Nabha Jail after a court hearing. As per the reports, Gounder's key aide Prem Lahori, who is the mastermind behind the Nabha jailbreak, was also killed by the police and a third gangster, identified as Sukhpreet Singh was also shot. while Gounder and Lahoria died, Sukhpreet Singh is now admitted to the Civil Hospital in Abohar. On January 24, an OCCU advisory was issued listing out five districts reporting possible movement of the gangsters and additional forces were sent out there.

However, in the encounter, two police officers had also got injured. The team started doing reccee of the area, and checking their suspected hideouts and associates. Five teams were constituted to raid the "Dhanni" and nab the gangsters. While one team covered the house from the roof-top of the neighbouring house, another covered the rear boundary wall, and the third entered from the main gate, with the remaining teams covering the two other doors. While Vicky and Prema were killed on the spot, Sukhpreet succumbed to bullet injuries later.

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Highly hailing the Punjab police cops for giving an end to Gangster's era in Punjab, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has congratulated the Punjab police. Chauhan said police only had information they were "high value targets", and only after they were killed did the police learn that were Gounder and Lahoria.

Replying to questions, DGP Arora justified the need for a stringent law like PCOCA to effectively deal with criminals.