S. Vijay Kumar

Bsura Bawaria was the prime accused in several murders

MADURAI: In a predawn operation, a special team of the Tamil Nadu police gunned down Bsura Bawaria (35) and his associate, Vijay Bawaria (34), on the outskirts of Meerut in Uttar Pradesh early on Thursday.

According to police sources, Bsura was the prime accused in several murders in the southern States, including that of the former All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MLA, K. Sudarsanam, at Gummidipoondi, former Congress town president `Thalamuthu' Natarajan at Salem and DMK leader Gajendran and his watchman at Thiruverkadu in recent years.

Following specific information, the team led by the Inspector-General of Police (North Zone), S.R. Jangid, and Uttar Pradesh Task Force Additional Superintendent of Police, Sushil Pande, intercepted a motorcyclist at around 3 a.m. Even as the suspect (Vijay Bawaria) slowed down, the pillion rider (Bsura) suddenly opened fire on the police.

When attempts to make them surrender failed, the police returned fire in defence. The two suffered injuries and were rushed to the Meeurt Government Hospital where doctors declared them dead. Bsura was the younger brother of Oma Bawaria, leader of the Bawaria criminal gang, already in police custody, the sources said.

Two country made weapons and 10 live rounds were found on the suspects. "They were perhaps moving from one hideout to another. Our teams were camping in several parts of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan in search of Bsura. The operation to arrest members of the Bawaria gang is now complete," Mr. Jangid told The Hindu .

The operation against the Bawaria criminals was launched in January 2005 soon after the murder of Sudarsanam. When armed dacoits struck affluent houses along National Highways in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa ordered intensive action against the culprits.

The Director-General of Police, A.X. Alexander, formed the special team.

While Oma Bawaria is suspected to be involved in over 100 cases all over the country, Basura was accused in 25 grave offences.

A total of 13 members of the Bawaria gang were arrested. After the crackdown on the gangsters, there was not a single case of dacoity reported in vulnerable pockets (National Highways) during the last one year, the sources said.