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Dacoit Babli Kol who carried a reward of Rs 7 lakh, killed in Eastern Madhya Pradesh

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Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

BHOPAL: Dacoit Babli Kol, one of the most wanted bandits in central India, has been killed.

The police claim that Babli Kol alias Babuli Kol and his gang member Lavlesh, were killed in an encounter in the forests in Satna in Eastern part of the state.

The bandit was active in several districts on the border of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, though he chiefly operated in Satna and adjoining areas.

The local police claim that it killed the dacoits--Babli Kol and Lavlesh in encounter in the forests of Ledri. Senior officials said that it was a major success as Kol had been involved in nearly 100 crimes--mostly kidnappings-robberies and extortions, in a decade. 

"After the elimination of dacoits in Chambal region, no dacoit was active elsewhere except one inter-state listed gang in Eastern MP. Today, he has also been killed", said police. Kol, who was born in a poor household in Kolan Tikaria in Satna, studied till VIIIth standard.

Later, he quit school and took to petty crimes. Over the years, he went on to become a gangster and dacoit. For police it was tough to catch him as he was well aware of the entire forest and topography. While Babli Kol carried reward of nearly Rs 7 lakh on his arrest, Lavlesh had Rs 1.5 lakh reward on his head. More details are awaited about the 'encounter'. 

Bubli, son of Ramcharan Kol, was first arrested for links with Thokia's gang. This was in the year 2007. After he was sent to prison, he met Laley Patel who was also in the same jail. Both escaped custody when were being taken to be produced in jail.

They formed a gang but after Thokia was killed, Swadesh Patel alias Balkhadia became the major dacoit in the region. Subsequently, he joined Balkhadia's gang. He committed murders, later five in Tikaria where he had burnt the victims' bodies.

Also, he killed anyone suspected to be a police informer. He was accused of killing dozens of persons After Balkhadia was killed in an encounter in the forests of Patha. The gang began operating with impunity, had arms looted from policemen. The gang had several skirmishes with police but he would escape. 

Questions raised on encounter

While police claim that it was an exchange of fire that led to the killing of Babli Kol and Lavlesh, questions are being raised over the entire operation. Sources said that another gang member Lali Kol killed the duo after a row.

After a farmer was recently abducted and ransom was paid, Lali had opposed the kidnapping because the farmer belonged to his village, sources said. Besides, there was altercation within gang over share in ransom amount. 

The police, however, insist that it had information about gang's movement and cornered the dacoits near Virpur in Dharkundi police station of Satna district. The policemen claim that they fired 35 rounds while bandits too fired and later the bodies were found.

Former minister and senior BJP leader Narottam Mishra has raised question on the police claims and has demanded a probe to find out who killed the bandits. The Police Headquarters (PHQ) would conduct a procedural departmental probe in this regard.

Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

Journalist for more than 20 years. Had started his career with National Mail in the nineties. Worked as Special Correspondent with Hindustan Times, as an Assistant Editor with DB Post, later Contributing Editor with The Huffington Post, writes for First Post, The Wire, Newsd & several other major publications.