An alleged kidnapper in police custody died on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday of gunshot injuries that, police said, he incurred while attempting to escape, continuing the Assam police’s streak of custodial firing.
Police said, 49-year old Kanwaldeep Singh Sidhu, prime accused in the kidnapping of Guwahati-based Businessman, Ajit Das, was attempting to escape by snatching the service gun of a police officer who was escorting him Guwahati from Karbi Anglong where he was arrested.
Assam DGP (Law and Order) GP Singh, in a tweet had said the incident took place near the Doldoli Reserve forest in the southern hills district Karbi Anglong about 267 km from Guwahati near the Assam-Nagaland state border.
“One Kanwaldeep Singh Sidhu main accused of the recent kidnapping of one Ajit Das from Guwahati was apprehended today. However, during travel, he snatched a police weapon and fired. In the retaliatory fire, he has been grievously injured and taken to hospital. The incident took place near Doldoli Reserve forest in Karbi Anglong district. The police party of Karbi Anglong is also being given medical attention,” GP Singh tweeted.
Six police officials – Utpal Das, Biju Hazarika, Mridul Das, Rupak Mili, Rajen Medhi and Papu Saikia — who were part of the escort were also injured in the incident, police said.
Sidhu, who was an expelled Railway Police officer back in 2011, was sent to the Dilai Civil Hospital where he was declared dead.
Sidhu was arrested and expelled from the force when he was caught with a huge consignment of arms and ammunitions including foreign-made pistols from Nagaland to West Bengal where he was posted back then.
In June, this year, Sidhu had allegedly broken into the house of businessman Das along with few others and had kidnapped him. Das was however recovered soon after unscathed.
Sidhu is the eighty in the past three weeks to be shot at by Assam Police while in custody. Earlier on Friday, the rape and murder accused in Morigaon district of western Assam was shot on the leg when he attempted to escape in the guise of reconstructing the crime scene.
Similar incidents of police shooting at detainees while they allegedly attempted to escape happened on June 17 when the prime accused in the Kokrajhar double rape and murder case in which two sisters were found hanging from a branch of a tree, was shot on the leg and it continued on June 22, 24, 26 and 29 before this. Sidhu, however, is the second casualty.