In a broad daylight shooting, two undertrials were killed by three unidentified armed men in the district court premises in Hathras in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday, sparking a gun battle with the police, which shot dead the trio.
The incident took place when Satveer and Kamlesh Yadav, both accused in a robbery and murder case, were being taken back to the jail after being produced in the court, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Brij Lal said in Lucknow.
Citing old rivalry as one of the possible reasons behind the killing, he said efforts were being made to ascertain the identity of the assailants killed in the encounter. Police said Satveer and Kamlesh were arrested in August last year on charges of murder and looting. A case was registered at Sikandara police station, they said.
The duo was brought to the district court for recording of evidence. "At around 12.15 pm, when the undertrials were being taken back to the jail from the court, they were attacked by three unidentified gunmen who opened indiscriminate fire, killing Kamlesh and Satveer on the spot," a police official said.
The trio, while trying to flee from the crime scene, was chased by a police team led by a sub-inspector posted in Agra, who had brought the two accused to court. In a brief encounter, which lasted for a few minutes, the police party gunned down all the three, the official said.
"Old enmity might be a possible reason behind the killing of the undertrials. The local police is trying to ascertain the identity of the assailants," he said.
Four country-made pistols were recovered from the slain gunmen, the official said. He claimed that the two undertrials killed in the incident were known criminals. They had several criminal cases registered against them. Hathras Superintendent of Police J P Singh said investigations into the incident are going on.
He maintained that prima facie it seems that old enmity could be a possible motive of the killing. Senior police officers including the inspector general and the deputy inspector general have rushed to the spot.