Suspected ATM thief injured in police firing in Assam

Goalpara (Assam), Jan 15 (PTI) A suspected ATM thief was injured in police firing when he tried to attack the law enforcers with a machete in Goalpara district of Assam, a senior official said.

Goalpara Additional Superintendent of Police Mrinal Deka said the incident took place in Nayapara area of Goalpara town on Friday night when the police went to a house where the suspected thief was hiding.

When confronted, the miscreant tried to attack the police personnel with his machete but no one was injured, Deka told PTI.

“We had to retaliate for our safety and for nabbing him. He was shot in both his legs and at present he is undergoing treatment at Barpeta Medical College and Hospital after receiving preliminary medical aid at Goalpara Civil Hospital,” the ASP said.

Deka said that the accused was involved in stealing money from an ATM of Punjab National Bank at Bapuji Nagar on January 12.

Altogether 32 people have been killed and at least 64 injured in police action while allegedly trying to flee from custody or attacking the personnel since the BJP government, led by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, assumed charge in May 2021.

The rising number of shoot-outs whipped up a political furore with the opposition alleging that the Assam Police has turned “trigger happy” and is indulging in “open killings” under the Himanta Biswa Sarma-led regime.

Unfazed by the criticism of his government over the recent encounter killings, Sarma on July 15 last year had said in the Assam Assembly that the state police has “full operational liberty” to fight against criminals within the ambit of the law.

The Gauhati High Court on January 11 asked the Assam government to file a detailed affidavit within two weeks on the police encounters that have been taking place unabatedly since the BJP returned to power in May 2021.