A motorbike theft accused was on Monday shot on leg by police in Kamrup district of central Assam when he allegedly attempted to escape custody taking the count of such shooting to over 52 since last May.
According to police, the accused Nekibar Islam, alias Nakul had snatched service gun of a police officer of Bijoynagar police station, about 23km from district headquarters and attempted to escape on the intervening night of Sunday and Monday.
“We warned him first, but when he didn’t stop, we had to shoot on his leg,” Bijoynagar police said.
Islam, who had a long rapsheet, was earlier arrested in connection to several bike theft cases.
After being shot, he was immediately taken to the Rani Hospital from where, he was referred to Gauhati Medical College and Hospital.
Islam was shot a day after two other — Bijoy Kushum Choudhury, a Delhi-based alleged cocaine peddler who was arrested in connection to a Guwahati Rave party and murder accused Rinku Sarma who was arrested in Dhemaji district of northern Assam — were shot in similar manner. Both attempted to escape custody.
In fact, including Islam, at least 52 accused have been shot at of which 22 died since the BJP-led government assumed office for the second consecutive term on May 10. In all the cases over the span of less than four months, according to police, the accused attempted to escape either on their own or by snatching officer’s arms.
Though the shooting has earned “trigger happy” tag to the state police from various sections of the society, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who also holds the Home portfolio, defended the department saying he has given “complete operational freedom” to thwart unlawful elements through “strictest of measures” within the ambit of law.