In a daring act, a hardcore criminal was allegedly freed by his accomplices, who shot dead two constables in the district, police said on Wednesday.

Constables Hariram (30) and Dharmendra (40), were shot dead on Tuesday night on board Jaunpur—Allahabad passenger train by unidentified persons, who allegedly freed a contract killer Neeraj Singh near Bariya Rampur, around 50 kms from here, they said.

According to police, the attackers, whose number was not known, pulled the chain, pumped bullets into the policemen and fled taking Neeraj along with them.

Neeraj, involved in more than a dozen cases and currently lodged in Naini central jail, was facing a murder trial before a fast track court in Jaunpur.

“The incident occurred when the two constables were taking Neeraj back to Naini jail after producing him in the fast track court,” they said.

Senior police officials, including SP (Railway) and SP (trans-Ganga), also rushed to the spot and the Allahabad - Jaunpur border was sealed to launch a manhunt for nabbing the culprits.