An inspector and a constable were allegedly shot dead by "gangsters" in an SUV who opened fire on a police team chasing them in a private vehicle at Beswa village under Fatehpur police station in Sikar district, an official said Sunday. A massive manhunt was launched to catch the killers following which one of the suspects was detained and being interrogated, Inspector General of Police VK Singh told PTI.
Director General of Police OP Galhotra directed the IGP to constitute special teams and to arrest the accused at the earliest.
The incident occurred late Saturday night when Fatehpur police station SHO Mukesh Kanungo and Constable Ram Prakash, acting on a tip off, set up barricades near Beswa village to apprehend 'gangster' Ajay Chaudhary and his aides, said VK Singh.
Singh said as Chaudhary and his aides reached the spot in a sports utility vehicle, the police team signalled them to stop, but they sped past after slowing down momentarily, prompting the policemen to start a chase.
"The policemen, in civil dress, chased the gangsters in a private vehicle when Chaudhary and four of his associates stopped their vehicle and opened fire," VK Singh said.
In the firing, Kanungo was hit in the neck and the constable on the chest, said the official, adding both succumbed to the injuries before they could be rushed to a hospital.
The IG said one of the accused 'named in the FIR' lodged after the incident was detained and being interrogated.
According to a statement, the DGP directed VK Singh to set up special teams and asked the additional director general of police (SOG), Bikaner IGP to lend their support for the early arrest of the accused.
"Special teams are searching for the accused in Sikar and Jhunjhunu districts...Directions have been given to arrest the other accused and take steps to take them to gallows," Galhotra said in a statement.
He said an Emergency Response Team (ERT) was sent to Fatehpur from Jaipur.
"The Rajasthan Police is with the aggrieved family members of the policemen in their grief. Their martyrdom would not go in vain and strict action will be taken in the case," the statement said.
The killing of the two policemen in poll-bound Rajasthan kicked up a political storm with the opposition blaming the BJP government for the "deteriorating" law and order situation.
State Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria assured that all the accused would be arrested soon.
"Two policemen have died. Director General of Police (DGP) is taking stock of the situation in Sikar. The accused would be arrested soon. All possible support and honours would be given to the victims," Kataria told reporters.
Congress leader Ashok Gehlot accused the BJP government of failing to address the law and order situation in the state.
"This is shocking that an SHO and a constable were shot dead by criminals in Fatehpur of Sikar district. Law and order is at its worst in the state. Even the police is not safe. The BJP rule has turned Rajasthan into a place, where only criminals feel safe," Gehlot tweeted.
Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot told reporters that both Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Kataria had "completely failed" in dealing with the law and order situation.
Meanwhile, the bodies of the slain policemen were handed over to their families after post-mortem. The SHO and the constable were later cremated with state honours in Jaipur and Sikar respectively, the police officials said.