'Vicky Gounder was in touch with Hong Kong-based Sikh radical'

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Whilst interacting with the media the Punjab police maintained that they were shot dead in a heavy exchange of fire. Chauhan said police only had information they were "high value targets", and only after they were killed did the police learn that were Gounder and Lahoria. He was earlier member of the gang formed by another history-sheeter Jaipal Singh. The killed wanted gangster has been identified as 28-year-old Vicky Gounder, while his associate was Prema Lahoria. Two policemen including a sub-inspector and an assistant sub-inspector sustained bullet injuries.

Gounder sent the police into a tizzy after he made a sensational escape from the Nabha Central Jail in Punjab, which is known to have a very high-level of security. After the encounter, the police also seized a few weapons from the spot.He tweeted, "Congratulations to Punjab Police for killing most wanted gangster Vicky Gounder and his aide Prema Lahoria".

A special team of the Punjab Police was set up to nab the fugitive.

"They (criminals) came out of their room when they heard the sound of police vehicles and started firing on the policemen", he said, adding that Lahoria and Gounder were killed when they were climbing the wall of Dhani. Recently, he got delivery of an automatic assault rifle from Pakistan through his close associate and handler, Ramanjit Singh who is also wanted by Punjab Police and against whom Red Corner Notice has been issued.

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Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh congratulated the Punjab Police force that carried out the operation. The third person, whose identity is yet to be established, was shifted to Civil Hospital, Abohar, with injuries, to which he succumbed. However, he was shot dead.

Police had arrested Gounder in December 2015 as a prime suspect in the murder of a gangster Sukha Kahlwan.

To a query, DGP Arora justified the need for a stringent law like PCOCA to effectively deal with criminals, who needed to be given a strong message that they could not get away with their criminal activities.

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