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|September 25, 1998||
Gangster killed following tip-off
An anonymous telephone call to the producer of a television programme ended in the death of Uttar Pradesh gangster Sri Prakash Shukla, who had been hired to kill state Chief Minister Kalyan Singh.
According to Shoaib Ilyasi, producer of the programme, India's Most Wanted the phone call on September 21 from Ghaziabad said Shukla and his associates were seen in Ghaziabad in a blue Cielo (No HR 26 G 7305). ''Although the caller did not identify himself, the information was enough to nail Shukla,'' Ilyasi said.
He said the caller had also told him that Shukla and his two associates had been spotted at the residence of a ''well-known politician.'' He however, declined to reveal the name of the politician.
The information was passed to the special task force, comprising 20 members of the Delhi and Uttar Pradesh police, specially constituted to nab Shukla.
On September 22, the killer and his associates were heading for Palam airport, with the idea of escaping to Ranchi, where Shukla had a safe haven and where another gangster Suraj Bhan supplied him with arms and ammunition. It was on the way to the airport that the encounter occurred.
Shukla normally carried an AK-47, but on the day of the encounter, he had only two .38 revolvers with him, the police said. Uttar Pradesh Additional Director General of Police Ajay Raj Sharma said most of the arms missing after the Purulia arms drop two years ago had found their way to Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh.
This was the second anonymous telephone call in this regard made to Ilyasi. An earlier call on September 10 at 1130 hours had claimed that Shukla and his associates were seen in the same Cielo near the crossing near the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences. The information was passed on to police, but they had lost Shukla that time.
Ilyasi said he was ''bombarded'' with threatening calls by Shukla and his associates after the programme about the killer was aired on television on September 8 and 15.
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