PATNA: Special task force (STF) commandos of state police neutralized Chandrashekhar Kapri, 38, and his associate Manohar Mandal, 30, after two hours of heavy exchange of fire in Rani Diara under Ekchari police station area in Bhagalpur district on Wednesday morning.
Kapri had been evading arrest since 2013 and carrying a reward of Rs50,000 on his head. He was also known as ‘Kulhari’ as once he had chopped off a person with an axe.
This is the second encounter in the state within 24 hours. Four alleged Maoists were neutralized by the CRPF in the jungles of Maunbar under Dumaria police station area in Gaya on Tuesday evening. Three AK-47 assault rifles and one INSAS rifle were seized from their possession.
ADG (operation) Sushil Mansingh Khopde said four members of the Kapri gang were also arrested from the encounter site. “Those arrested were identified as Jagmohan Mandal, Jaykant Mandal, Chandrika Mandal and Ganesh Mandal,” he said.
Khopde said two regular rifles of .315 bore, two countrymade rifles, one double-barrel gun, one countrymade pistol and 63 live cartridges were recovered from their possession.
STF sources said the Kapri gang was ruling the riverine area. “Irrespective of who sowed it, it was Kapri gang which reaped the crop in the riverine belt and sold in the market,” they said.
Bhagalpur SSP Nitasha Guria said the encounter started around 6am and continued for almost two hours. “More than 70 rounds of fire were exchanged between the two sides after which both the criminals were neutralized. Earlier also, district police had tried to nab Kapri but he had managed to escape in the riverine belt. This time STF help was taken for conducting operations against him,” she said.
Guria said eight cases of murder, loot and extortion were registered against Kapri and one against Mandal in Bhagalpur. “Kapri and his gang mostly operated in the riverine belt,” she said.
The SSP said the policemen had to first cross the river by boat and cover several kilometres on foot.
Ekchari police station SHO Mukesh Kumar said the last case against Kapri was of an extortion registered in June, 2020. “He had been evading arrest since 2013 and carried Rs50000 reward on his head,” he said.