Cuttack, Jan. 16: Unidentified goons today shot dead a 40-year-old trader and looted Rs 1.5 lakh on National Highway-5 connecting Jajpur and Cuttack.
The incident occurred at around 11:30am near Bandhala Square at Tangi when the deceased Pravat Acharya, 40, was on his way to Malgodown along with his driver in a Tata Ace car.
Police sources said the four goons, who were on two motorcycles, intercepted the car in which Acharya was travelling. They looted the cash and fired at him. Another Rs 50,000 cash was recovered from Acharya’s pocket.
Acharya suffered a bullet injury on the left side of his chest and was immediately rushed to SCB Medical College and Hospital by a PCR van. Doctors at the hospital declared him dead on arrival.
The deceased hailed from Samserpur village under Mahanga police limits. He is survived by his wife and two sons (9 and 11 years old). He used to run a grocery shop near his house at Mahanga for the last 15 years along with a close friend, Pravin Acharya.
Acharya was busy with preparations for the thread ceremony of his sons, which was scheduled for January 24.
“After intercepting our vehicle, the four goons dragged me out of it. Then they took out a gun. To save my life, I ran from the spot and shouted for help,” said the driver, Laxmidhar Pradhan.
The four men had covered their faces with helmets. Pradhan said, he had no idea whether they were following the car.“They intercepted the vehicle all of a sudden and asked me to step out,” he said.
Family of members of deceased said that they suspect the involvement of known persons behind the incident.
“The goons were aware of Pavat’s movement. They knew he was travelling with the cash to Malgodown. So, we suspect the involvement of persons known to my brother. I was at school when I got information about the firing at around 12 noon. My brother did not have any enmity with anyone,” said Pratap Acharya, brother of deceased.
Family members said Acharya was carrying nearly Rs 1.5 lakh as another Rs 50,000 was recovered from Pravat’s pocket.
“We are investigating the matter. We have recovered a live bullet from the spot. So far, preliminary investigation reveals that the goons had come in two black pulsars that didn’t have any number plates,” said investigating officer of Tangi police station Savita Sahu.
This is the second major incident of loot in the last 48 hours. On Monday, goons looted Rs 3.60 lakh from two employees of a private company at gunpoint near OMP Square.