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Missing trader found dead

- Body buried in forest, sacked employee among 3 held

Ranchi, Feb. 21: Septuagenarian city industrialist Gyan Chand Jain, who went missing on February 14, was found dead in Khamba forest of Itki, 40km from the district headquarters, on this bandh day morning.

Police have arrested a former employee of Jain’s tyre recycling unit in Simalia and his two friends, while a manhunt has been launched for Jain’s dubious driver Mukesh Kesri and a fifth aide.

SSP Saket Kumar Singh said the body was found buried in the forest and exhumed by a police team around 10.30am after the arrest of former employee Suraj Mahto, a resident of Nawatoli in Ratu, on a tip-off. Besides Mahto, Vikas Turi and Madhu Oraon — both in their late twenties — are being interrogated.

“We believe the 70-year-old was murdered soon after his kidnap and barely 500 metre from his factory in Simalia in Ratu police station area, which is 25km from the district headquarters. The body was buried to avoid quick detection since demanding ransom was also part of the plan,” he said.

He added that the partially decomposed body of the Kokar resident had been sent to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences for post-mortem.

On the motive behind the killing, the SSP said Jain had terminated a “non-performing” Suraj from his job three months ago. “Besides the three arrested, Kesri and another person, whose name we will not disclose now, were involved. For Suraj it was personal vendetta, while the others were in it mostly for money,” Singh said.

He added: “The driver had also been terminated from service three months ago, but was allowed to resume duty only three days before Jain was abducted.”

Recreating the crime scene, the SSP said Kesri drove Jain into the trap. “The four others must have waited near the factory. They intercepted the car and hopped in. When Jain resisted, they hit him on the head with a pistol butt. An unconscious Jain may have been taken to Khamba, where he was battered to death with a boulder,” he said.

Two of the criminals later took the car to Gumla and left it at Kasira forest to mislead the police.

The news of Jain’s death, meanwhile, sparked tension in the capital and prompted shops and business establishments — which had dared to defy a bandh sponsored by Left trade unions — to down shutters again.

The Federation of Jharkhand Chambers of Commerce condemned Jain’s killing and said it was high time the state administration did something to protect businessmen .

The Jharkhand Truck Owners Association and other organisations have called a Ranchi bandh tomorrow in protest. Emergency services and intermediate examinations have been exempted, association president Uday Shankar Ojha said in a news release this evening.


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