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CIMA Gallary

Victim hints at rebel hit

Maoist role is being suspected in Tuesday morning’s gun attack on a former MLA’s kin on the outskirts of Ranchi.

In his statement to the police late on Tuesday evening, victim Lal Ranjan Nath Shahdeo (40) — who was rushed to RIMS in Bariatu with a bullet each in his right jaw and back — said that rebels were after his family for a long time. “He had wanted to say more, but doctors advised him rest,” said a police officer.

SP (rural) Asim Vikrant Minz said they were yet to confirm Maoist hand in the early morning shooting at Basant Vihar Colony in Sukhdeonagar, 15km from the city, but at the same time were not ruling out the possibility.

“A few years ago, Maoists had set Shahdeo’s residence in his native village on fire. So, we are probing that angle too,” he said, refusing to speak more on the matter for the sake of investigations.

A family member of Shahdeo echoed Minz, saying the battle of supremacy was long-drawn between the erstwhile royals and rebels.

“In 1995, Maoists had set his (Shahdeo’s) house in Opa on fire. Opa is located 77km from Ranchi and comes under Kuru police station area of Lohardaga district. A year before this incident, Maoists had also killed one of his uncles, Lal Srikant Nath Shahdeo, at Taralshil village, about 115km from the capital in Chandwa police station area of Latehar district,” the family member said, not willing to be identified by his name or gender.

A policeman close to the Shahdeo family also supported the rebel angle.

“Fear of Maoists had compelled him (Lal Ranjan Nath Shahdeo) and his kin to flee the red bastions and settle in Ranchi in 1996. They look after their property in Lohardaga and Latehar from here.”

Shahdeo is the president of Sikni Colliery Transport Owner Association in Latehar.

Last evening, Shahdeo and another victim of the shooting — a 13-year-old schoolgirl who came in the line of fire — were shifted to Apollo Hospitals in Ormanjhi from RIMS.

Superintendent of Apollo P.D. Sinha said both were recovering well.