Karma Mahto shows the empty cartridge of the bullet that grazed his leg in Ranchi on Saturday. (Prashant Mitra)
Ranchi, July 21: A 38-year-old resident of Manatu village in Kanke police station area was injured today after being shot in the leg by a gang of goons, allegedly hired by a private contractor.
The injured, identified as Karma Mahto, was rushed to a private nursing home where his condition was stated to be out of danger.
Sources said a group of men, apparently hired by local contractor Shashi Singh, picked up crusher unit owner Mahendra Mahto (42) from Manatu at 6.30am and roughed him up.
However, word about the “abduction” spread after Karma, who happened to be passing by the area, noticed Mahendra being thrashed near Kanke Chowk and relayed the news back to Cheri and Manatu villages.
“Soon a group of villagers assembled at the spot and gave chase to the goons. The contractor’s men, heavily outnumbered, ran for their lives leaving a battered Mahendra behind. While fleeing, the men fired six rounds at the villagers, one of which apparently grazed the left leg of Karma,” said a villager.
He added that later the villagers also protested in front of Kanke police station demanding Shashi Singh’s immediate arrest.
Officer in-charge of Kanke police station H.N. Singh, confirming the incident, said that they had lodged an FIR based on a statement given by Mahendra Mahto.
“Our primary investigations suggest that Mahendra Mahto’s crusher unit was situated within the area where Shashi Singh had set up a camp to monitor the construction work of Ranchi Ring Road project,” Singh said.
A police officer, requesting anonymity, added that trouble started after a security guard employed by Shashi stopped Mahendra’s vehicle from entering the camp this morning.
“Mahendra called up Shashi and apprised him of the situation. The contractor, however, took his guard’s side and a heated argument ensued over the phone. Later, Shashi sent three of his thugs to rough up Mahendra,” he said.
A villager, Sandeep Mahto, however, said Mahendra’s crusher unit was functioning in the camp area with permission from Shashi Singh and hence the contractor had no right to stop him at the gates.