Bettiah on Wednesday morning resembled a battlefield, after three vehicles were set ablaze following the murder of two persons because of an alleged rack point gang war.
The law and order situation was paralysed for over six hours after Pankaj Kumar Jha and Sujeet Kumar Sharma were shot dead around 7.30am at a rack point at Banuchhapar locality under Mufassil police station area, around 210km northwest of Patna.
The police had to fire at least three rounds to disperse the rampaging crowd. A rack point is the place where goods train load and unload items. According to sources, criminal gangs control these areas.
The supporters of the victims also tried to set ablaze the house of the accused, Sunny Mishra.
The station house officers of six police stations were camping at the site under two deputy superintendent-rank officers and sub-divisional magistrate Shri Prakash.
According to sources, Wednesday’s incident was an outcome of a rivalry between Pankaj and Sunny. Sources said Pankaj, a rack point labourer working under Sunny, somehow influenced other workers to become the leader of the group recently.
Harikant Jha, the father of Pankaj alleged that his son was killed by Sunny and his henchmen.
On Wednesday morning, Pankaj and Sujeet, were standing in front of the former’s house in Banuchhapar when two motorbike-borne persons shot them from point blank range and fled the scene. Both of them were declared “brought dead” after being wheeled into Maharani Janki Kunwar Hospital.
The mob also attacked a police jeep and damaged several vehicles when the bodies of the victims were being carried back to their homes after the post-mortem.
The police have registered a case against five persons, said Sadar deputy superintendent of police Ramanand Kumar Kaushal. He added: “The situation is under control and the police have been asked to keep a round-the-clock vigil in the area.”