A 40-year-old trader was shot dead on a crowded road in Howrah on Thursday morning.
Three youths on a bike, all wearing full-mask helmets, shot scrap iron dealer Bijoy Mahato twice on Joybibi Road in Malipanchghara around 10.45am.
The bullets hit Mahato on his chest and upper abdomen. He was rushed to TL Jaiswal Hospital and then shifted to a city hospital, where he died.
Police suspect the murder was an outcome of business rivalry. A man has been detained in connection with the murder.
Mahato was standing a few metres from his Joybibi Road house, inspecting the lights brought from Chandernagore for a neighbourhood Durga Puja, when he was shot. He was secretary of the Durga Puja committee.
“The bike carrying the three youths had stopped close to Bijoy Mahato. The second pillion rider got off the vehicle, shot twice and jumped back on the two-wheeler which sped off towards JN Mukherjee Road,” said Biswambar Yadav, who had witnessed the murder from his roadside tea stall.
Police sources said rivalry in the scrap iron trade might have triggered the killing. “We have come to know that the victim was involved in illegal activities, such as running a betting syndicate,” said an officer of Malipanchghara police station.
Police said they would check Mahato’s call details to find out the names of the persons with whom Mahato spoke over the phone in the last few hours of his life.
Scrap iron dealer Kishan Lal Jain had been shot at Bally in Howrah in 2007. Police later said Jain had been a victim of business rivalry.