Police kill gangster Pun in Devdaha shootout

- Manish Gautam, GHANASHYAM GAUTAM, Kathmandu / Rupandehi

Feb 22, 2018-

Gangster Manoj Pun was killed in a police encounter in Devdaha Municipality of Rupandehi district on Wednesday morning.

Pun, a criminal gang leader believed to be operating from Gorakhpur and Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh, India, was shot dead along with his aide Som Bahadur Ale. 

Police said they opened fire after the duo started shooting indiscriminately at security forces to evade arrest.  

Superintendent of Police Shyam Gyawali, chief of District Police Office, Rupandehi, said police were looking for Pun’s whereabouts after a report by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CIB) stated that Pun was hiding in Nepal and is plotting another ‘big’ crime.

A team of CIB led by DSP Angur GC had arrived Rupandehi to investigate the whereabouts of the gangster.

Police said Pun and his aide Ale were riding a bike (Lu 13 Pa 3376) on early Wednesday morning when they came face to face with police. SP Gyawali said Pun opened fire and made an attempt to escape when the police team tried to arrest him at Bhawanipur.

“They first started firing at the police personnel. We had to retaliate back in self defence,” said SP Gyawali. 

Pun sustained 12 bullet injuries while 10 bullets were fired at Ale. Pun was severely injured in the shootout and later died at Lumbini Zonal Hospital where he was brought for treatment.

The bodies are in Lumbini Zonal Hospital for autopsy. Police have recovered pistols from the scene.

Pun, 30, was the main mastermind behind the murder of youth leader Durga Tiwari, construction entrepreneur Sharad Kumar Gauchan and trader Basanta Poudel.

What is interesting is that police headquarters had recently transferred Deputy Superintendent of Police Kumud Dhungel from Ramechap to Rupandehi. Dhungel, who had led a team of police when another gangster Dinesh Adhikari ‘Chari’ was shot dead, was an inspector at the Metropolitan Police Crime Division in 2014.

It is learnt that DSP Dhungel had led a team of police to arrest Pun in Rupandehi too. 

A team of CIB had been looking for absconding Pun who had wreaked havoc among the business community in Rupandehi and other areas. The search had intensified after Pun was believed to be the mastermind behind the murder of businessman Sharad Kumar Gauchan on October 9 last year.

Following the incident, the CIB officials had tracked Pun in the western Indian state of Goa where he was believed to be living in a hotel with his foreigner girlfriend. However, Pun had fled the scene before police could arrest him. 

Observers speculate whether the encounter was premeditated because Pun’s killing comes at a time when Nepal is in the process of forming a new government.

CPN-UML had been for long demanding the arrest of Pun for his involvement in murder of Durga Tiwari, who was CPN-UML aligned Youth Association Nepal Rupandehi chairman. Pun had admitted killing Tiwari. There are concerns that such extra-judicial killings by the police may lead to a ‘police state’. They also said police could usurp all the authority by surpassing the judicial system.



Recent encounters

  • August 8, 2014: Dinesh Adhikari ‘Chari’ was shot dead in Kathmandu
  • August 20, 2015: Kumar Shrestha alias ‘Ghainte’ died in a police encounter in Kathmandu
  • February 21, 2018: Manoj Pun shot dead

Published: 22-02-2018 07:42

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