Three alleged bank robbers were shot dead by police in Assam's Kokrajhar district on Sunday after an attempted robbery went wrong.
They were 800 metres from their target - an Allahabad Bank branch in Bhotgaon village, which is about six km from Kokrajhar town - when they were intercepted by a police team acting on a tip.
A police statement said the gunfight with the alleged robbers occurred at Chengmari near Bhotgaon at 2.30 am on August 22, and that they opened fire only after they were fired upon.
After the firing stopped police launched a combing operation and found the three alleged robbers had been critically injured. Two-three others managed to escape, the police said.
"Combing operations were on till late night to flush out the rest of the dacoits," Assam DGP Bhaskarjyoti Mahanta was quoted by news agency PTI.
Police recovered a 25-litre oxygen and a 14.5 litre gas cylinder (to break into the bank's safe), an iron rod to break doors or windows, and two 7.65mm handguns with eight bullets and six empty cases.
The injured robbers were taken to a hospital in Kokrajhar but they were declared dead on arrival.
Items recovered from their bodies - including mobile phones - helped identify them as Siraj Daula Sheikh of Mancachar district, and Monuar Hussain and Aminul Hoque of Goalpara district.
The police also said this was the second such attempt - following one from three months ago.
Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has praised the police for their actions. "A robbery gang was neutralised by Assam Police in Kokrajhar. This prevented a big bank robbery," he was quoted by PTI.
Further investigations into the incident are ongoing.
With input from PTI