AYODHYA: Less than 12 hours after the midnight slaughter of five members of a Dalit family at Khanpur village in Ayodhya district, the key accused was nabbed after a brief encounter in Kuchera forests, 5km from the crime spot on Sunday. While a constable was injured when the accused, Pawan, opened fire, he was overpowered after he fell in the thickets after taking three bullets in his leg in retaliatory fire. Police attributed crime motive to a festering land dispute.
Pawan and three accomplices had stormed the house of Horilal under Inyatpur police station area in the cover of darkness just minutes before Saturday midnight, overpowered the family members and slit their throats with a sharp-edged weapon. Besides Horilal and his wife, Pawan’s victims included three children, including a girl — all below 10 years of age. The assailant was known to the family, said police.
Talking to TOI, Ayodhya SSP Shailesh Pandey, said, “We formed multiple teams to nab the accused within an hour of the murders, which were executed by four men led by Pawan. While three were nabbed within hours of the crime, we announced a Rs 25,000 bounty on the mastermind, Pawan, who was finally caught in the Kuchera forest area after a 30-minute encounter.”