February 23rd, 2012
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5 killed in encounter, 2 policemen injured

chennai encounterChennai: Five people were shot dead by the police in an encounter in Chennai in wee hours of the morning. The people were alleged to have been involvement in a bank robbery case. “Five persons were shot dead around 1 am in connection with the bank robbery case,” Commissioner of Police J K Tripathy said. The suspects were housed at a Housing Board colony on Rajaji Street in Velachery. The police were tipped off by an unidentified informer who had seen the CCTV grab. The house was raided at around 1this morning.

A 14 member team was involved in the encounter. The team split into two groups and fired through the windows of the one-bedroom apartment. The suspects responded with counterfire. Two policemen, Ravi and Christian Jayasil, were injured in the crossfire.

After a half an hour long exchange of fire eventually all the five suspects, estimated to be around 30-35 years old, were killed. They are all believed to be from Bihar. A West Bengal driving licence was recovered. The victims have been identified as Vinod Kumar, Chandri Khare, Vinay Prasad, Abhay Kumar, and Harish Kumar. Inside their room, two bags containing wads of cash were found. The bags also contained five pistols and two revolvers, police said.

The suspects were supposed to be involved in two daring daylight bank robberies that were executed this year.  On February 20, four armed men looted Rs. 14 lakh from a branch of public sector Indian Overseas Bank at Keelkattalai on city outskirts. In a similar incident on January 23, four armed men stormed the Bank of Baroda branch near Perungudi and escaped with Rs. 19 lakh.

Though the men had been living in the colony for at least the last three months, neighbours said that they never noticed anything unusual. None of them were also aware of the gunfight. They all slept peacefully and woke up on Thursday morning to find their neighbourhood teeming with police personnel.

The injured police inspectors were admitted to the Royapettah Government Hospital. The victims were taken to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital for post-mortem.


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