Gangster killed in Telangana encounter

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Hyderabad, Aug 8 (IANS) A former Maoist turned gangster, who reportedly worked as a covert operative for the police, was killed on Monday during in an exchange of fire with police in Telangana’s Shadnagar town, Telangana Police said.

Nayeem, who was accused of killing a police officer and many former Maoist leaders, was hiding in a house in the Millennium Township, police said.

Following a tip-off, a police squad surrounded the house in Mahabubnagar district, about 50 km from Hyderabad.

The gangster allegedly opened fire at police squad, which retaliated. Nayeem died on the spot, police sources said.

Mohammed Nayeemuddin alias Nayeem, a native of Bhongir town in Nalgonda district of Telangana, was an accused in several high-profile criminal cases, including the murder of Indian Police Service officer K.L. Vyas in 1993. He was allegedly also involved in over 130 criminal cases, including 20 murder cases.

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After he came out of the fold of then People’s War Group (PWG), Nayeem turned a gangster. He allegedly became a covert operative for police and eliminated several top Maoists and their sympathisers, the sources said.

Nayeem was an accused in the murder of civil rights activists Purshottam and Niranjan, folk singer Belli Lalitha, surrendered Maoists Sambasivudu and Ramulu, gangster Pattola Goverdhan Reddy and others.

He was also suspected to have helped police in catching Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife who were later killed in an alleged “encounter” — an euphemism for a staged gunbattle — by Gujarat Police in 2005.

The gangster had escaped from police custody 11 times.

He was allegedly threatening legislators and leaders of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), the sources added.

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