A protest against Sanjay Baniya’s murder at Sonari police station on Wednesday. (Bhola Prasad)
A manhunt has been launched into the fatal assault on a 25-year-old murder accused who was dragged out of a pandal in Sonari, battered with boulders, shot at, stabbed and left to die in the small hours of Dashami.
Sources in the police said the raids were focussed in the densely populated Kapali area of neighbouring Seraikela-Kharsawan district, where the culprits are believed to have fled after the attack.
Victim Sanjay Baniya, a fast food vendor by profession, had served a short jail sentence for the August 2011 murder of one Shashi Paswan in the Domuhani area of Sonari. He was released on bail barely six months ago.
Around 1am on Wednesday, the youth was pandal-hopping with three of his friends when Shashi’s brother Govind Paswan and three others — all in the age group of 23 to 25 years — accosted them near Ram Mandir Puja pandal.
While his friends managed to take cover, Sanjay was severely beaten up on the premises. He was then dragged to an alley, where his head was bludgeoned with boulders and he was also stabbed. One of Govind’s aide, Mohammed Kalam, also fired a round, but the bullet missed target.
As Sanjay bled profusely from his wounds, the four escaped. Friends rushed the youth to Tata Main Hospital’s emergency ward, where he died a couple of hours later.
DSP (headquarters-II) Raj Kishore Yadav confirmed the murder to be a case of revenge killing. “Sanjay Baniya was involved in the Shashi Paswan murder case. Shashi’s brother and friends avenged his death by killing Sanjay,” Yadav said.
He added that a case had been registered and besides Govind and Kalam, police were looking for two other accomplices — Siyal and Hetti — based on an FIR lodged by the victim’s father Tarapada Baniya. The role of Bilas Paswan, Shashi’s father, is also being probed.
Meanwhile, Nirmal Nagar in Sonari, where Sanjay lived, remained tense on Thursday.
On Wednesday morning, angry relatives and supporters had demonstrated in front of Sonari police station with Sanjay’s body.
Later, a section of frenzied protesters had set Govind’s shop and house in the same neighbourhood on fire.
DSP Yadav said Jharkhand Armed Police personnel had been deployed in the area to prevent any untoward incident.
The October 23 killing is a grim reminder of a similar murder in January 2011.
In July 2010, gangster Anil Sharma was shot dead by members of his rival gang, led by one Tun Tun Singh, at Dimna Road in Mango. Six months later, Tun Tun was gunned down at Mango Chowk.