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War of words over deadline to crack case

Police seemed to have a new enemy in the profession of doctors a day after they set the deadline to crack the murder case of one of their fellow members.

Forty-three-year-old Rajnish Ranjan was shot dead by unidentified assailants when he was walking towards his Rajendra Nagar home from a shop on Saturday.

About the 48-hour deadline set by the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Patna City superintendent of police Jayant Kant said the police were doing their job.

“We are in the job and investigations are on. The doctors should have a professional approach. The police are trying their level best and there will be a breakthrough soon,” the officer added.

“The investigation into the case is going on and the police can say for now that loot was not the reason behind the doctor’s murder,” he said.

“Also, the police can say that the reason was not related to either any ransom or any land conflict. This is a case of conflict inside the family and the reason for his murder was personal. We have got some vital leads and they are being probed,” Kant told reporters on Monday.

Ranjan, known to be a silent man and with a good behaviour, is survived by his wife Rinku Kumari, a doctor too, but ill for years now. A resident of the Ramkundan Apartment, located at the road No. 13 of Rajendra Nagar, the couple were childless as his wife had been physically unwell.

Sanjay Kumar, the Kadamkuan police station house officer (SHO), on Sunday did not rule out the involvement of family acquaintances in the incident.

Sources said with no child of their own, the couple were very close to one Harshvardhan, the slain doctor’s nephew.

The people who were close to him, had asked him to re-marry because of his wife’s illness but he had been refusing the same.

“The police had earlier stated that the cellphone of the doctor and the cash he was carrying were intact. This clearly shows that loot was not the motive. The police are clear that the reason of the murder is something personal and family related,” another police officer said.

On the other hand, the IMA members, reacting to the police statement on their “attitude”, said it was the police who “need to have the right attitude”.

“The doctors are always professional. It is the police who should get their attitude right. The police should show respect for the doctors as the doctors show respect to the men in khaki,” IMA state president Rajiv Ranjan Prasad said.

“There will be a meeting after 3pm on Tuesday and the situation will be assessed. If we see that the police are not investigating the case seriously, we can go to any extent, which includes a strike too,” he added.

“We have demanded certain things, which include proper investigations, arrest of those involved, compensation for the family and security of the doctors. We don’t want to go on strike as the patients are the ultimate sufferers but we do not deny that option if at all we see that the police are not doing anything,” Prasad added.

He lamented that the doctors were vulnerable to crime of all hues. “It’s a matter of concern that the doctors are being victimised again,” Prasad said on Sunday.

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