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Sunday, June 11, 2023

15 years after killing 6 UP STF personnel, 13 dacoits get life term

A Banda Special Court has awarded life sentence to 13 members of the erstwhile Thokia gang that had killed six Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (UP-STF) personnel to avenge the killing of dacoit Dadua.

The incident took place in 2007.

Government counsel Jai Prakash Sahu said that the Banda’s special judge (anti-dacoity) Nupur pronounced the quantum of punishment, levying a fine of Rs 20,000 on each of the gang members and if they fail to pay, they would have to serve an additional sentence of six months.

Thirteen members of slain dacoit Ambika Patel Thokia’s gang were convicted for killing six personnel of the UP-STF in an ambush in Banda district to avenge the killing of the then most wanted brigand Shiv Kumar Dadua in 2007.

Those convicted are Nathu Patel, Dev Sharan Patel, Shankar Singh, Chunbad, Shiv Naresh, Ram Babu, Ashok, Gyan Singh, Dhaniram, Kishori Lal, Dharmendra Pratap Singh, Kalyan Singh and Ram Prasad.

The Thokia gang had ambushed the STF team in the Kolhua forest in Fatehganj police area of Banda district on July 23, 2007.

The STF personnel killed were part of the team that was returning after gunning down Dadua, hours earlier.

Thokia and his men had opened fire with automatic weapons on a vehicle carrying STF men and lobbed grenades. Another team that was behind the vehicle resisted the dacoits who then retreated into the jungles.

STF personnel identified as Ishwar Deo Singh, Uma Shankar Yadav, Laxman Prasad Sharma, Rajesh Chauhan, Brijesh Yadav and Girish Chandra were killed in the ambush.

The FIR named 17 people and one of them Mohammad Anis was given a clean chit in the investigation. During the trial, the prosecution produced 29 witnesses in the case and none of them turned hostile.

The lawyers of the accused, Vichitraveer Singh and Ram Swarup Singh, said they would study the court order and would comment on it thereafter.

Thokia was later killed in an encounter with an STF team led by then Senior Superintendent of Police, STF, Amitabh Yash, in August 2008. Thokia was carrying a cash reward of Rs 6 lakh and had 147 criminal cases against him.

Another dacoit Balkhande was killed in 2017 in an encounter with the STF.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)

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