Hyderabad: Two gangsters and a policeman were killed and two police officers were injured in a fierce gunfight in Telangana's Nalgonda district on Saturday, police said.
Two days after the gangsters, suspected to be from Uttar Pradesh, gunned down two policemen and injured two others, police eliminated them in an encounter on Saturday morning near Janakipur village in Mothkur mandal of Nalgonda district, about 175 km from here.
The gunfight started when a police party engaged in combing operations came face to face with the gangsters.
Home Minister N. Narasimha Reddy told reporters in Hyderabad that a police team had reached the village following a tip-off that the two suspects were hiding in a local mosque.
The policemen did not find the youth in the mosque but later came face to face with the gangsters. On seeing the police vehicle, the assailants opened fire, killing constable Nagaraju who was driving the four-wheeler and injuring sub-inspector Siddaiah.
Circle inspector Bala Gangireddy, who reached there in another vehicle, also came under fire from the gangsters. "The circle inspector returned the fire killing both the gangsters," the home minister said. The official was also injured in the exchange of fire.
The circle inspector and sub-inspector were admitted to a hospital in Hyderabad. According to doctors, the sub-inspector's condition is critical.
Two pistols and a carbine, which the gangsters had snatched from police, were recovered from the scene.
Director General of Police Anurag Sharma and senior officials visited the village.
The gangsters had escaped after gunning down two policemen and injuring two others at Suraypet in the same district in the early hours of Thursday.
They had opened fire on police when a police party was questioning them at Suryapet after deboarding them from a bus coming to Hyderabad from Vijayawada.
A police constable and a home guard were killed and a circle inspector and a home guard were injured in the incident.
The gangsters, suspected to be involved in thefts on buses, had escaped with a carbine. While fleeing, they also opened fire on a car injuring a civilian.
The home minister told reporters that the duo were suspected to be members of a gang from Uttar Pradesh.
"They had no terror links. There is no question of this. This was an inter-state gang of dacoits," he said when asked about some media reports that the assailants were members of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).
Narasimha Reddy praised the policemen for sacrificing their lives to deal with the criminal elements. He said the police were ready to deal with anybody indulging in such activities.
The home minister announced Rs.40 lakh ex-gratia for the family of the deceased constable and promised to provide a job to a member of his family.