Delhi: A 23-year-old miscreant involved in several criminal cases died after he was shot during an encounter with the Delhi Police in the northeast area of the national capital, an official said on Saturday.

The deceased, identified as Aakash alias Thalau alias Illu, was a bad character of the New Usmanpur police station area. Deputy Commissioner of Police (northeast) Sanjay Kumar Sain is said to have effective check over incidents of robbery and snatching. A crack team and other staff of New Usmanpur police station were deployed in plain clothes near 5th Pusta, Delhi.

“During analysis of reported incidents, one common thing had emerged that a group of young boys, which included some in girl’s dress to attract commuters, are involved in several robbery cases in and around the Yamuna Khadar area,” the DCP said.

On Friday at around 8.30 p.m., the police team noticed an injured person identified as Tushar, coming from the Khadar area. He said that 5 to 6 people attacked him and snatched his mobile phone. He bore a serious injury so was sent to hospital.

Accordingly, the police registered a case under sections 392 (Punishment for robbery), 394 (Voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery), 397 (Robbery, or dacoity, with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC at New Usmanpur police station.

The police team moved towards the Khadar area in search of suspects and reached deep in the jungle around one and half kilometres from where they noticed the presence of 7 to 8 suspicious people in a lonely place in late hours.

“The police personnel, disclosing their identity, asked them to come out. But suddenly they opened two fires upon the police team,” DCP Sain said.

At this time, the police retaliated in self-defence and a bullet hit one of the miscreants and he fell while others ran away taking advantage of the dark.

Aakash, was taken to JPC hospital for treatment and later was referred to LNJP hospital where he died during treatment. As the police continued the search operation, three associates of the deceased were subsequently apprehended from Yamuna Khadar area.

They were identified as Vishal, Monu and Nikhil.

The official said that during interrogation, it was revealed that Monu and Nikhil used to be in girl’s dress to attract the commuters. Once any person came with such girls, their associates robbed them of their belongings.