The greed to bag a railway job on compassionate grounds prompted an unemployed son to hire contract killers to shoot dead his father in Bokaro.
While railway guard Jagdish Pramanik (58) took three bullets on December 30 and died in hospital, police arrested his 27-year-old son Saikat, his second wife Manju, contract killers Pawan Paswan and Nasim Akhtar, and Saikat’s friend Mohammed Nawab for conspiracy and murder on Wednesday.
Superintendent of railway police (SRP) Nagendra Chowdhry said a hunt was on for a third killer, Ram Bhajju.
Pramanik was posted at Bhojudih station, 30km from Bokaro steel city, and was due for retirement in two years. A jobless Saikat thought it was an opportune moment to get his father’s job. He confided in his friend, Nawab, who arranged for a meeting with the contract killers.
Saikat’s stepmother agreed to join the conspiracy on the condition that she would get to keep all the benefit money after Pramanik’s death, while the son would be satisfied with the job alone. A deal was then finalised with the sharpshooters for Rs 1 lakh, of which Rs 50,000 was paid in advance. Manju sold her gold ornaments to rustle up the amount.
Around 3.30am on December 30, Pramanik left for work. He was scheduled to escort a goods train from Bhojudih to Jharia station in Dhanbad district. But, before he could do his duty, three men on a bike pumped bullets into his body.
As he collapsed, the naïve man called his son for help. To avoid suspicion, Saikat came rushing and took his father to a local primary health centre and then 34km to Bokaro General Hospital, shedding tears all the while.
The SRP said Saikat even lodged a complaint with the Bhojudih RPF the same day. “But, his behaviour was suspicious and the police decided to track his mobile phone calls,” Chowdhry said.
It was found that Saikat was in regular touch with Pawan, a resident of Govindpur in Dhanbad, and Nasim of Tata Sijua. Nawab was first detained. Next, a trap was laid and the killers were arrested late on Wednesday evening when they met Saikat to collect the rest of the contract money. The latter too was taken into custody. Interrogation led to Manju’s arrest.
“We are looking for the third shooter. He is a resident of Gaya in Bihar, and is absconding,” Chowdhry said.