The house of Sushil Kejriwal on Ratu Road in Ranchi on Sunday. (Hardeep Singh)
Police are planning to re-examine cellphone records of plastic businessman Sushil Kejriwal who was shot dead by unidentified assailants near the capital on Saturday night after being flooded with extortion calls for three months.
DGP G.S. Rath on Sunday said he would personally monitor investigations into the 45-year-old’s murder, which has both unnerved and angered the business community in Ranchi and elsewhere.
Rath is known to have discussed in details with SSP Saket Kumar Singh and rural SP A.V. Minz ways to further investigations into the case.
“There were certain points we need to delve into. I have discussed them with senior police officers. For instance, Sushil Kejriwal had been receiving extortion calls. His cellphone is a key element in this probe. There are several other angles, which I cannot reveal for the sake of investigations. All I can say is that police are going in the right direction,” the DGP said, confirming his personal involvement in the probe.
Kejriwal was a resident of Ratu Road and owner of Jharkhand Plastic Private Limited in Tatisilwai, 14km from the heart of Ranchi.
He left the factory around 8pm on Saturday along with his company supervisor Deepak Khanna. They had barely left the area when they were fired upon. Kejriwal, who was at the wheel of his car, took two bullets, while Khanna was hit by one.
The businessman died on his way to Apollo hospital. Khanna’s condition is said to be stable now, but police are yet to record his statement.
According to unconfirmed reports and incoherent statements Khanna made to the media on his way to hospital, the assailants were at least four in number and the two were attacked barely 200 metres from the factory premises.
Police said they had strong reasons to believe that Kejriwal was the main target and Deepak suffered collateral damage. What still confuses them is that why the businessman was travelling without his two bodyguards, provided in June after he complained of extortion threats.
Rural SP A.V. Minz said they would question Kejriwal’s cousin, Ravi Tibrewal (40), who had also received extortion calls during the same time as the businessman.
“We are investigating all possible angles to track down the killers. Around four-five numbers were used to make extortion calls to Kejriwal and we are delving into the past to find missing links,” he added.
On whether police had any specific strategy to ensure foolproof security to businessmen, DGP Rath replied in the negative. “If complaints are of a serious nature, we offer bodyguards. But, it is not just the business class, we are responsible for the safety of every citizen. So, we have to balance resources accordingly,” he said.