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Twin shootings shock Telco

Sound of gunshots shattered the calm of the night in Telco on Tuesday when a transporter with criminal links was shot dead and a civil contractor sustained bullet injuries in a bizarre attack within an hour.

Dalbir Singh (46), who had earned notoriety for flexing his muscles in Jemco, was gunned down on Belgara Road at 11.30pm, with police blaming old rivalry for the murder.

An hour ago, a bike-borne man had pumped a bullet into 64-year-old Muktipada Kachhap’s mouth near the gate of Tata Motors Hospital, 4km from Belgara Road, where he had come from Jadugora for the treatment of his wife. The victim is undergoing treatment at Tata Main Hospital.

Singh, who had gone to check out a plot in Belgara on his bike, was walking back to the spot where he had parked the two-wheeler when seven-eight men accosted him. They pumped in as many as six bullets into the transporter’s chest and head and bludgeoned his head with a boulder. By the time, local residents heard the gunshots and rushed out, the assailants had fled.

A police team, which was already at Tata Motors Hospital, rushed to the spot and prevented a flare-up as a large number of Singh’s supporters had gathered on the spot. They also recovered empty cartridges of a 9mm pistol.

Officer-in-charge of Telco Kamleshwar Pandey said that preliminary investigations pointed a finger at Prakash Mishra, a criminal who was lodged at Ghaghidih Central Jail in a murder case but is now out on parole. Four persons have been detained.

“Both Prakash and his father Laxmikant Mishra, who was also in jail in connection with the same murder case and got parole about a month back, are missing from their Jemco residence. In jail, they had tried to hatch a conspiracy to kill Singh but were not successful. Singh and the Mishras have been fighting for supremacy in the area for a long time,” he said.

The killing triggered protests with local residents staging a blockade at Jemco Chowk, demanding arrest of the culprits, on Wednesday morning. Around 12.30pm, another group staged a dharna in front of the SSP’s office. “We will not allow the police to send the body for post-mortem till they arrest the murderers,” the victim’s elder brother, Jagir Singh, had threatened.

However, both the blockade and dharna were lifted after superintendent of police (city) Kartik S. assured them that police would bring the guilty to book.

In the earlier incident, Kachhap, a former employee of Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL), and some relatives were waiting near Tata Motors Hospital gate when a man came on a bike and asked him something. “Before he could reply, the man fished out a pistol and pumped a bullet into Kachhap’s mouth. The bullet pierced his cheek,” said a relative.

Kachhap was immediately taken inside the hospital, which later shifted him to Tata Main Hospital. His condition is now stable.

“We do not know exactly what led the man to fire at the contractor. Investigations are on,” said Telco OC.