| Saket Gupta |
Patna, May 7: A middle-aged businessman — a relative of a senior police officer — was shot dead on Monday in Kumhrar Park, where he had gone for a morning walk.
Minutes later, two of the three assailants were chased and nabbed around 1.5km away for violating traffic norms.
The murdered businessman was identified as Saket Kumar Gupta (45), a cousin of Ashok Kumar Gupta, a director-general-rank police officer at present posted as the chairman of Bihar Police Building Construction Corporation.
The arrested killers were identified as Raju and Pintu, aged between 20 and 30 and residents of Exhibition Road and Kankerbagh respectively.
Sources said that Saket Gupta, a resident of Belwarganj under Alamganj police station, dabbled in real estate besides owning a medicine shop in Bhadra Ghat and two beer bars at Gai Ghat and Bahadurpur in Patna City. His family also owns Anand Talkies cinema in Patna City.
Sources said Gupta reached the park, which is located 4-5km from his residence, around 6.30am on his motorcycle. “He got on to his bike parked inside Kumhrar Park’s entrance gate around 7.10am, and was about to start when three men approached him from behind. One among them, aged around 35 years, spoke to Saket when suddenly another man took out a 9mm pistol and shot at him from close range. He died on the spot,” a family friend told The Telegraph. At least seven shells were found at the site of the murder.
Sources added that the assailants got on a motorcycle parked just outside the gate and sped off towards Bhootnath Road via Bhagwat Nagar in the western direction.
“A three-member Quick Mobile Service patrol team, who had no clue about the murder, spotted three men on a bike in the Bhootnath Road area and signalled them to stop. The biker lost control and hit a school van. The trio fell before firing at the police and running in different directions. One of the men threw the pistol in a bush. The police gave chase and caught two of them,” a police officer said.
Police suspect extortion to be a possible reason for the killing as Gupta had recently ventured into the foreign liquor trade.
An award of Rs 10,000 has been announced for each of the five policemen who helped nab the two criminals.