High drama was witnessed on Govindapura Main Road here in the early hours of Tuesday when the police stopped a gang from hijacking a truck with a cargo of cigarettes by opening fire at them. Five policemen and one hijacker were injured in the melee. Five of the gang were arrested but two managed to flee.
The misadventure began at 11.45 p.m. near Devanahalli and ended at 3.45 a.m. at Kadugondanahalli with a container truck transporting Rs. 80 lakh worth cigarettes and some tobacco bundles from ITC's Devanahalli godown. The cargo was to be sent to Tamil Nadu and other States.
Gang turns up
Truck driver Anand had stopped for dinner at a roadside hotel in Devanahalli when a seven-member gang turned up in a multi-utility vehicle for dinner there. Soon after Mr. Anand resumed his journey, the gang blocked his path by parking in front of him and muscled its way into the truck. The members bundled the driver into the MUV and hijacked the truck, a top police officer said.
However, another truck driver, who saw the suspicious activity, called the police control room. Kadugondanahalli Police Inspector T. Rangappa and his team spotted the truck near Nagawara and chased it for a few kilometres from Nagawara Road to Govindapura Main Road. Finally, the police team intercepted the truck and the MUV near a college on Govindapura Main Road and asked the gang to surrender.
In response, the miscreants got down from the vehicle and attacked the police with knives.
Mr. Rangappa and team, taken by surprise, were initially flustered but then collected themselves and opened fire, hitting Harsha, one of the gang members, on the thigh. He was later operated upon and is “out of danger”. Five men were arrested while two escaped. The arrested men are, apart from Harsha, Ravi, Anand, Rakesh and Ravi and the police are interrogating them.
A big posse of police personnel was deployed in Kadugondanahalli area to track the runaways. Mr. Rangappa, Head Constable Bheemanna, constables Raveendra, Siraz Ahmed and Rangadhamaiah sustained stab injuries. All the injured, including Harsha, were rushed to Ambedkar Medical College Hospital for medical aid.
Pedda gunda's men
Police said that the gang members are associates of notorious rowdy sheeter Pedda Gunda, who was killed in a police encounter on December 17. They have cases of murder, attempt-to-murder, extortion, kidnapping, threatening and robbery and so on booked in several police stations.