The Special Task Force (STF) of Uttar Pradesh police on Monday shot dead dreaded dacoit Ambika Patel alias Thokia during in an encounter, ending an era of big dacoit gangs on the Uttar Pradesh--Madhya Pradesh border.
Lauding the success of the STF, Director General of Police (DGP) Vikram Singh announced out-of-turn promotions for the personnel involved in the encounter.
He said very soon the rest of the gang members would be either caught or killed.
After the killing of Dadua in July and Thokia, political equation in the region might change a lot as both were from the Kurmi community and had a great influence among their community vote bank in the Bundelkhand region.
In the 2007 Assembly elections, Piyeria Devi, mother of Thokia, had contested from Nairaini in Banda district on Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) ticket, but was defeated.
The STF team, led by SSP Amitabh Yash, shot dead Thokia near Cilkhan village in the Bharatkup area of Chitrakoot district after a four hour long encounter. Several other gang members were also killed in the encounter.
Police officials said the body of Thokia might have been carried away by other gang members. After the encounter police also recovered four firearms from the deceased which included a few AK series assault rifles. There were at least 100 criminal cases of murder, kidnapping and looting against Thokia in eight districts of UP and MP.
State Additional Director General of Police (STF) Brijlal said combing operation was still continuing in the area to nab the remaining Thokia gang members.
"The gang operated a big extortion racket in the area and even collected commission from all the development projects.
They used to raise huge funds in dealing with 'Kendu' leaves through which 'bidi' is made'', he said.
Investigation was underway to detected the people who were giving logistic support to the gang and supplied ammunition to it members, he added.
The dacoit, against whom the UP government had announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh and Madhya Pradesh government of Rs 50,000, was hiding in the jungles of UP and MP. The STF launched a massive combing operation against his gang after he ambushed a vehicle of the force killing 6 jawans on July 23.
The STF jawans were returning after killing another dreaded dacoit Dadua a day before the incident.
Yash said this was a major success for the security personnel of the state and it will end the dacoit gangs of Chambal.
Thokia was once a gang member of Dadua but in late nineties he switched over to the Khairvar gang, the break away group of Dadua gang.
Later, when Khairvar was killed in an encounter with the police in 2002, Thokia became the leader of the gang.
Though both the Dadua and Thokia gangs used to operate in the same region, there very few reports of clash between them over any issue.Last year, several Dadua gang members joined the over 50 strong Thokia group.