Four days after the Madhya Pradesh police said they killed two dacoits of a gang in an encounter in the forests of Satna district, another member has claimed that it was him who had shot the two dead over a dispute regarding the sharing of a ransom.
Sohan Kol aka Raja Bhaiya, a key member of the Babli Kol-led gang, was arrested from the Kalyanpur forests in Manikpur area of Chitrakoot. He claimed before the media that it was him who killed the gang's leader Babli Kol and his aide Lavlesh Kol.
"Babli Kol was weaponless, while Lavlesh Kol was armed with a rifle. I picked one of the rifles and killed Lavlesh first and then gunned down Babuli too in a similar way," Sohan Kol said.
An officer in the state police, however, said: "You can see what the UP police have mentioned in its press note about Sohal Kol's arrest. We don't react to the claims of dacoits."
The gang had split into two - leader Babli Kol, Lali Kol and Lavlesh Kol on one side and Sanjay, Sohan Kol and Chota Bhaiya on the other - over the sharing of Rs 5 lakh that they exhorted after freeing a farmer they kidnapped two weeks ago from Harsed village in Satna district.
Police said they recovered two American Springfield semi-automatic rifles from Sohan Kol. The US-made rifles have been traditionally wielded by the members of the gang that has been operating across the forests of Central Uttar Pradesh and adjoining Madhya Pradesh since decades.
Babli Kol carried a reward of Rs 6.5 lakh on his head while Lavlesh Kol carried a bounty of Rs 1.80 lakh. The two dacoits along with other gang members were wanted in over 100 criminal cases of extortion, kidnapping and murders in both Madhya Pradesh and UP.