Chitrakoot/Fatehpur/Lucknow, July 22 (UNI) Ending the thirty-year- long reign of terror in jungles of Chitrakoot bordering Madhya Pradesh, the Special Task Force (STF) of the Uttar Pradesh police shot dead Shiv Kumar Patel alias Dadua and his nine aides this morning.
The STF had started searching the jungles of Chitrakoot late last night. While four members of his gang were eliminated last night in the Kusmahi area, the major achievement came this morning when the 65-year-old dacoit was killed.
Besides Dadua, his close aides Angad, Chotta Patel and Nandu were also killed. ''We had information of his presence...Dadua and his men were killed in retaliatory firing,'' SP (STF) Anant Deo, who was at the encounter site, told UNI.
Since police had a 25-year-old photo of the dreaded dacoit, villagers helped cops identify the dead dacoit as Dadua.
Dadua was carrying a total bounty of Rs 5 lakh -- announced by the UP and MP police -- on his head.
While he was wanted by UP police in over 150 cases of dacoity, kidnapping and murder, the neighbouring MP police had charged him with 35 cases.
Dadua's area of influence was spread across Chitrakoot, Fatehpur, Allahabad, Banda and Kaushambhi districts of UP and Rewa, Satna and Panna district of Madhya Pradesh.
Despite around 50 encounters with the state police in the past several years, Dadua roamed freely and mingled with the locals who referred to him as 'Bhaiyya'. He is known to have helped several families with money and other means. This often helped him escape the police.
The only time he had been to jail was in the 1970s, reportedly for stealing a buffalo. He entered the world of crime following the murder of his kin.
Dressed in police uniforms, Dadua's 21-member gang was armed with various series of Kalashnikov rifles, self-loading rifles (SLRs) and the traditional bolt-action .303 rifles. Unconfirmed reports also claimed his gang also had access to a rocket launcher.
A politically ambitious person, Dadua had access to several politicians and even ministers. His younger sibling Bal Kumar contested the just-held assembly elections from Patti in Pratapgarh.
His son Veer Singh is the zila panchayat president of Chitrakoot.