Ferozepur, In a joint operation, the Special Task Force (STF) and the Ferozepur police arrested Malerkotla gangsters Bagga Khan and Gahia Khan, both allegedly involved in several cases of murder, and three of their accomplices after an encounter early this morning in Makhu block of the district.
More than 100 rounds were fired during the shootout in Ward No. 5. Gahia, who was hit by a bullet in the ankle, was admitted to the Civil Hospital, Amritsar.
The accomplices were identified as Makhu residents Stephen and Vishal and Faridkot’s Amandeep.
Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, Inspector General (IG), STF, said the accused had fired at a shopkeeper, Kalimuddin, in Malerkotla on February 8. Later that day, a shootout had taken place between the gangsters and the police near Jitwal Kalan village in Sangrur district. A village youth, Bikramjit Singh alias Bobby, was killed in the crossfire, sparking off a protest in the area.
The STF got a tip-off last evening that gangsters were hiding in the Makhu area. The police located the hideout around midnight. Gaurav Garg, Ferozepur SSP, said, “We cordoned off the place. Around 6:45 am, the gangsters were told to surrender, but they opened fire at the cops. The police team retaliated.”
Later, the five men were arrested with two .32-bore pistols, one .315-bore country-made revolver and ammunition. Barring Gahia, they were taken to the State Special Operations Cell in Amritsar.
The IG said Bagga was also involved in the Tarn Taran gang war, in which a gangster was killed and another was injured in Harike area on the intervening night of August 9-10, 2016.
He added that the Khan duo was wanted in over two dozen criminal cases. According to the IG, Bagga and Gahia used to supply weapons to other gangsters. Later, they joined a gang and remained active in Malwa for the past 6-7 years. He said Stephen and Amandeep had given shelter to the Khans, while Vishal used to work as a spy for them.