Bhubaneswar, July 28: An Orissa State Armed Police jawan today succumbed to injuries after he was shot by criminals from Bihar at the border town of Barbil in Keonjhar district last evening.
The jawan, who died in the small hours today, was part of a police team that was trying to foil an extortion attempt by the criminals.
The police said the team had reached Kiriburu Square last evening following a tip-off that the goons would were go there to collect the extorted amount from a businessman of the district.
On seeing the police personnel, the criminals started firing indiscriminately at the law-enforcers, who retaliated, said police sources. In the exchange of fire, David Kerketta, a jawan of the 4th battalion of Orissa State Armed Police, Rourkela, sustained injury.
“One of the bullets pierced his head and came out through the other side,” said Keonjhar superintendent of police Ghanshyam Upadhyaya.
The police officer was not sure how many criminals were involved in the shootout.
“Maybe there were five criminals. We had to retaliate in a restrained a manner as it was a crowded place,” said the superintendent of police.
The injured police personnel, Kerketta, was rushed to Tisco Hospital in Joda, where he died. Today his body was shifted to Barbil for post-mortem.
One of the criminals has also been admitted to the hospital, said the police. He was injured in the shootout and was caught.
The police claimed to have seized a pistol and two live magazines from him. His accomplices fled into the nearby jungles and are believed to have crossed the border.
“We have sealed the border and combing operation is on to nab the others,” said the SP.
On February 26, three goons, also from Bihar, had sprayed bullets on Congress MLA from Champua Dhanurjay Sidhu.
The firing at Bhadrasahi had left him critically injured. A sarpanch accompanying the MLA was also injured in the attack.
The state government provided Sidhu security after the matter was raised in the Assembly.