PHULBANI/BERHAMPUR: Wanted criminal and notorious ganja mafia 32-year-old Muna Digal was nabbed by police after an exchange of fire near Narayani temple on the outskirts of Phulbani town on Sunday night. Muna sustained injuries in the first ever police encounter in Kandhamal district and has been admitted to the district headquarters hospital (DHH).
Three days back, Officer-in-Charge of Gochapada police station Mrutyunjay Pradhan was brutally attacked by Muna and his associates in Phulbani town. The police officer sustained grievous injuries and is undergoing treatment at the DHH. Sources said Pradhan was attacked as he had arrested several drug peddlers and was determined to put an end to the illegal ganja trade in the area.
Following the attack on Pradhan, three police teams were pressed into action to to nab the assailants. On Sunday night, police were tipped off about the presence of Muna near Narayani hill following which the areas was cordoned off. When the police team tried to flush out Muna from his hideout, the criminal fired three rounds at the cops and tried to escape from the spot.
However, the police team resorted to retaliatory firing in which Muna received bullet injuries on his right knee and left hand. A country-made pistol, one live bullet and a motorcycle were seized from the criminal’s possession.Muna has 11 criminal cases pending against him in Gochapada and Town police stations. Of the 11, five cases are under NDPS Act and the rest are attempt to murder and theft, said the Additional SP Utkal Keshari Dash.A manhunt is on to nab Muna’s associates.