Pipili: A wanted criminal was injured in an encounter with the police near Barimul Chhak under Pipili police limits in Odisha’s Puri district in the early hours of Saturday.
The injured criminal has been identified as Jitendra Behera alias Jitu of Abakasha Lane area in Puri town.
According to police, Jitu and Ramesh Parida alias Muna had absconded after the murder of Sanjay Behera alias Para near the Gundicha temple in Puri on December 25 last year. While Muna had surrendered before Additional Sessions Judge in Nimapara in connection with a murder case recently, Jitu had fled to Nayagarh.
Following information that Jitu was travelling from Nayagarh to Puri, SP (Puri) Sarthak Sarangi had formed two special teams led by Kumbharapada IIC Abhimanyu Nayak and Pipili police station IIC Sarat Sahu on Friday.
Acting on a tip-off that Jitu and his associates are travelling on Jatni-Pipili road on a motorcycle early in the morning, the joint team of the police had waited near Barimul Chhak. As police noticed the duo at 5 am, they tried to intercept them. In a bid to escape, Jitu opened one round of fire on the police. In retaliation, police opened two rounds of fire in which he fell down from his vehicle after one bullet hit his right knee. However, his associate managed to escape.
Police later seized the motorbike, a country-made pistol and two live cartridges from his possession.
The injured criminal was taken to the Community Health Centre (CHC) at Pipili from where he was referred to the Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar.
Jitu has several cases pending against him at different police stations in Puri district.