In a scene straight out of films, two dare-devil Maharashtra policemen- including one who was shot and bleeding profusely- managed to arrest a notorious thief in Ahmednagar today, police said.
The incident happened around 1 pm on a crowded main road near Chitale Chowk in Rahata city, barely 5 km from the famous pilgrim town of Shirdi.
Two plain clothes policemen, Ajit Pathare, 27, and Rashid Sheikh, 26, espied two persons with their faces covered, on a motorcycle.
The two policemen, on a motorcycle on the opposite side of the road, reversed, rushed to them and stopped their motorcycle in the midst of the traffic to make inquiries, said police official KM Pawar of Rahata Police Station.
"Without warning, one of them whipped out a country-made pistol and shot Pathare on his hand at point blank range. The bullet came out got and lodged in his shoulder. Meanwhile, Shaikh lunged at the shooter who fell from the motorcycle and they managed to catch the culprit," Mr Pawar told news agency IANS.
The pillion rider, whose identity is not known, managed to take advantage of the large crowd to escape and the police has launched a manhunt for him in Ahmednagar and neighboring districts, he said.
The shooter turned out to be wanted robber and chain-snatcher Sachin L. Take who has 32 cases lodged against him in police stations all over Ahmednagar.
Police recovered the country-made pistol, and a live cartridge and seized the motorcycle while Take is currently in the lock-up.
The injured Mr Pathare, 27, underwent emergency surgery at Saideep Hospital and the bullet was successfully removed from his shoulder. His condition has been described as 'stable and improving' and he will be discharged after a few days, said Mr Pawar.
The rare display of courage by the two policemen against a dangerous criminal has been lauded by their colleagues and admiration from people of Rahata, he said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)