Usha Devi at MGM Medical College and Hospital on Wednesday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
A hot-tempered BJP worker allegedly shot at two former partymen, the mother of one and a common friend at a Baliguma home on NH-33 near Mango, Jamshedpur, on Wednesday morning.
Of the four victims, Sunni Kumar (30) and Suraj Shukla (24) have been admitted to Tata Main Hospital, while Usha Devi (45) and Rajkumar Singh (25), are undergoing treatment at MGM Medical College and Hospital.
The incident took place at 8.30am when a group of nearly 10 BJP workers led by Rakesh Singh, Mango unit president of the party, stormed Suraj’s residence, where his friends Rajkumar and Sunni were also present.
Suraj and Rajkumar were both members of BJP but had left the party recently. This defection of the duo apparently made Rakesh furious and spurred him to take a pistol to Suraj’s home in the morning.
Apprehending trouble, when Suraj’s mother Usha Devi tried to stop the group from entering her home, Rakesh shot her on the thigh.
Then, he fired at Rajkumar and Suraj.
Suraj’s friend Sunni — who just happened to be present and did not have any political affiliations — was also shot at when he tried to protest.
While Suraj sustained a bullet on his right palm, Rajkumar and Usha have similar wounds on their left hand and right thigh, respectively.
The condition of Sunni, who took a bullet on his spinal cord and had to have an emergency operation, is stated to be serious.
Rakesh has been taken into custody.
MGM police station officer-in-charge (OC) Ratibhan Singh confirmed the incident and said a probe was on.
“We are taking the statements of all the victims and will register a case against Rakesh Singh and his associates,” he added.
“When Suraj and Rajkumar refused to return to the BJP fold, they were attacked,” the OC said, adding the rest of the accused would be booked once a case was registered.
Rajkumar, who spoke to the media from MGM hospital, alleged he and Suraj were “being constantly pressurised by the BJP supporters to rejoin the party”.
“Suraj and I were thrashed on Tuesday by Rakesh’s aides. That’s when we told them if they went on harassing us like this, we might join another party. I think that triggered the attack,” he said.
Before leaving, Rakesh threatened them “with death unless they joined the party”.
This brazen display of lawlessness by a junior BJP worker will doubtless leave the party top brass across the state red-faced, including heavyweights such as former chief minister Arjun Munda and former Union minister Yashwant Sinha — who want to project a moderate face.