Blackbuck Poaching, Manhunt, Encounters: What Unfolded in MP's Guna Over 72 Hrs

In midnight clashes between MP police and hunters, three police officers and one poacher were killed on the spot.

4 min read

On the intervening night of 13-14 May, Madhya Pradesh Police, on a tip-off, confronted a group of poachers in the Guna district's Aron forest area. The confrontation led to a gunfight, in which three police officers – sub-inspector Rajkumar Jatav, head constable Sant Ram Meena, and constable Neeraj Bhargav – were killed.

A driver with the police team, Lakhangiri Goswami, was injured in the incident.

One alleged poacher, who was later identified as 38-year-old Naushad Khan, was also killed in the incident.


Video Editor: Pawan Kumar

Police recovered multiple bodies of blackbucks and a peacock from the site of the first encounter. Later, they killed Naushad’s brother Shahzad Khan in a second encounter when he allegedly opened fire on the police, while trying to escape, on 14 May.

Shahzad’s wife, however, claimed that her husband was at home on the night of the poaching incident and was busy with the marriage preparation of his niece, which was scheduled for 14 May.

In midnight clashes between MP police and hunters, three police officers and one poacher were killed on the spot.

Shahad's wife didn't know that her husband had been killed in the encounter when this reporter met her. She said her husband was innocent. 

(Photo: Vishnukant Tiwari/The Quint) 

“My husband was at home. He was busy with the preparations of marriage and we were dancing and enjoying. We don’t know who killed the deer but my husband is being framed in the case.”
Shabana Khan, wife of Shahzad Khan

Police further informed that they had arrested two people – Sonu and Jiyah Khan – after the second encounter and four other accused were absconding.

The Quint assembled all that transpired in the Guna district in the 72 hours since the news of the first encounter broke out, in which three police officers and one poacher had died. Here’s a timeline of all the developments in the case.


In Initial Hours Post Shootout, CM, HM Promise Exemplary Action

14 May, 9 am: Hours after the news of the shootout, in which three police officers and one alleged poacher had died, breaks out, state Home Minister Narottam Mishra says,

"An action that sets an example will be taken."

14 May, 10 am: Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan calls an emergency meeting of the top police officials. He also announces an ex gratia sum of Rs 1 crore and a government job to the families of the three police officers who lost their lives. He says,

"Strict actions will be taken. The action taken will become an example."

Chouhan then sacks the Inspector General of Police of the Gwalior range, Anil Sharma, citing delay in response.

In midnight clashes between MP police and hunters, three police officers and one poacher were killed on the spot.

Madhya Pradesh's Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Home Minister Narottam Mishra in an emergency meeting called by the CM after the Guna incident.

(Photo: By special arrangement) 

14 May, 11 am: Meanwhile, police start a manhunt for the other accused. Forces from the neighbouring districts are called in to help.


According to the local police, carcasses of at least four blackbucks and a peacock were recovered during the confrontation.

The 'poachers' had allegedly hunted the animals to serve their meat at a wedding.

In midnight clashes between MP police and hunters, three police officers and one poacher were killed on the spot.

At least four bodies of blackbucks and a peacock were recovered from the encounter site.

(Photo: By special arrangement) 

Demolition Drive by Guna District Admin, Families Claim Assault

14 May, 3:30 pm: Hours later, district administration demolishes houses of those accused in the poaching case.

Families of the accused, whose houses were demolished, have claimed that they were thrashed and abused by the police during the demolition drive.

“I was pulled out of my house by a three starred (police officer). They beat me up with sticks, slapped me. Why were the innocent women beaten up? Is this justice?”
questioned Fahmeeda wife of Sahraj, brother of the accused.

Shahzad Killed in Second Encounter, Congress Claims Accused Linked to BJP

14 May, 7 pm: News of another encounter breaks out. This time the police tell the media that they have shot down Shahzad Khan in a retaliatory fire while they were on the lookout for him and other accomplices in the case.

14 May, 9 pm: As the news of Shahzad's encounter spreads, state Congress unit releases multiple photos of the accused accompanying Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and blames the BJP for the death of three police officers.


14 May, 11 pm: Confirming the death of Shahzad Khan, newly appointed Gwalior IG, D S Varma, tells media,

In midnight clashes between MP police and hunters, three police officers and one poacher were killed on the spot.

Shahzad Khan was shot dead in the police encounter after he allegedly opened fire on the police team while he was on the run. 

(Photo: By special arrangement)

“Police formed four search teams. During the search in the forest at around 6.30 pm yesterday, the police got into an exchange of fire with a miscreant, in which the miscreant was killed and a police officer was also injured.”

15 May, 9 am: The Madhya Pradesh Congress continues to release pictures of the accused with the BJP's district vice president and other leaders claiming BJP’s links with the accused.

15 May, 5 pm: Sonu and Jiyah Khan are arrested by the police allegedly when they were trying to escape from custody. Police had shot them both in the leg allegedly to prevent them from escaping. They are later produced in the court; the court sends them to jail.

  • Krishna Raghuvanshi, a resident of Guna, has filed a case seeking magesterial enquiry into the encounters in Guna. 

On the other hand, a case has been filed by one Krishna Kumar Raghuvanshi, resident of Guna district, against the encounters carried out in Guna demanding a magisterial enquiry into the incident. He also asked for a case to be registered against the police in light of the encounters under Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) section 157.

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