Satna: Babli Kol, a dreaded dacoit, who spelled terror in the bordering areas of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh over the past few years was gunned down during an encounter with police in the forests of Satna district on the intervening night of Sunday and Monday.
Bodies of Babli and his aide Lavlesh were found this morning in the forests areas of Ledri in Satna district of Madhy Pradesh. Babli carried a reward of Rs 7 lakh on his head while Lavlesh Kol aka Loli carried a reward of Rs 1.80 lakh on his head.
After the termination of dacoits from Chambal region, Babli Kol led gang was the only recognised dacoit gang that terrorised the locals in Vindhya region and also the adjoining areas of Uttar Pradesh.
Recently, the gang had abducted a farmer and later released him allegedly in return for Rs 6 lakh. This incident is being linked to the elimination of the dreaded dacoit as locals have claimed that the head of the gang had a dispute with Lavlesh over distribution of ransom money which led to an internal fight and their killing. Lavlesh had recently joined the gang.
Babli Kol had long remained elusive for the police in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh for the past eight years since he emerged in the region in 2011.
IG Police, Satna, Chanchal Shekhar, claimed on Monday that the dacoit had been utilising the difficult terrain of the region and managed to slip away every time they went in the forests to nab him. The Ledri forest area, where the bodies of the dacoits were said to be recovered after an encounter by the police, is spread over 40 km with bordering hillocks, said the officer.
Babli Kol hailed from a village in dacoit-infested Manikpur district of UP and in 2006 he was arrested by th police for aiding dacoits. Kol was jailed and came out after six months and decided to become himself an outlaw and slipped into the jungles.
In 2007, Kol was involved in his first major dacoity where his gang attacked Kamayani Express and during the act they also shot dead a Russian woman.
Reining terror in at least half a dozen districts in MP and UP, Kol was responsible for over two dozen abductions and one dozen a half murders. According to Avdhesh Samdaria, the farmer who was recently abducted by Kol, claimed that his gang has at least 15 members.
Among other areas in Vidhya, Kol was mainly active in Satna district which shares the border with Uttar Pradesh and offers convenient option to outlaws to commit crimes and slip away into the neighbouring state.
The police claimed that they took action on receiving a tip off. They had surrounded the dacoits on Sunday night and a fierce gun battle had ensued, in which both the dacoits were killed.
Interestingly, the police theory had some loopholes as the police did not let the media visit the encounter site and showed the body somewhere else. The police is said to have found a desi kata (country made pistol) and a gun with the dacoits but it was widely known that the gang possessed modern arms, including an AK-47 rifle which the gang leader had flaunted in a viral video recently.
Former Director General of Police of MP Arun Gurtu, speaking to News18, however, urged the media not to suspect the police theory claiming that often the police plants its own men in dacoit gang and creates rift in the gang which lead to police encounters. “I had personally used this trick in Panna districts,” he said. As per the norms, whenever someone dies in police firing, a probe follows and he expects the MP government would order enquiry, added the ex-cop.
Meanwhile senior journalist KP Singh who had researched dacoits extensively claimed that the theory of a gang war could be true as police have been following this strategy of letting their informer inducted in dacoit gang and killing the key gang members at an opportune moment.