The three arrested youths at the office of SSP Amol V Homkar on Friday. Picture by Animesh Sengupta
East Singhbhum police claimed to have cracked the grisly murder of notorious transporter Dalbir Singh Birre in a little over two days on Friday, citing revenge as the motive and arresting three among the 10 persons allegedly involved in the Tuesday night killing in Telco.
Revealing the breakthrough at a news meet, senior superintendent of police (SSP) Amol V. Homkar said teams of personnel had fanned out in the state and outside to nab the absconding seven — masterminds Laxmikant Mishra and his son Prakash, as well as five others.
Those arrested — Kunal Sharma and Ashok Rai of Burmamines and Naveen Kumar Pandey of Mishra Bagan, Telco — are in their early twenties. Six firearms, 23 rounds of cartridges, two knives, two cellphones and four bikes have been recovered from them.
Denying the crime as an instance of contract killing, the SSP said the motive behind Birre’s murder lay in a five-year-old crime.
Contractors-cum-gangsters Prakash and Laxmikant, who had a longstanding turf war with Birre over Telco’s Jemco area, had abducted and murdered Birre’s close aide, one Prabir Jha, in Chandil way back in 2008.
Birre, who had been instrumental in getting the father-son duo convicted for Jha’s murder in 2011, paid for this intervention with his life on Tuesday night.
The Mishras, recently out of Ghaghidih Central Jail on parole, together with their eight aides, ambushed Birre on Belgara Road, which falls under Jemco area, and sprayed him with bullets.
“In all, 10 assailants were involved in Birre’s murder. It seems Prakash and Laxmikant, convicted in the Prabir Jha murder case in 2011, started plotting to kill Birre immediately after coming out of Ghaghidih jail on parole a month ago,” SSP Homkar said.
A week before the murder, Prakash and Laxmikant marshalled their aides and got familiar with Birre’s residence and movements.
The SSP added that some of the assailants had been procured from “a neighbouring state” for the murder, but did not specify the name, citing probe compulsions.
On the night on December 10, Birre, on his way home in Jemco after a visit to a Burmamines-based surgeon, had stopped his bike near a plot of land on Belgara Road that he was interested in acquiring.
“Around 11.30pm, when he started his bike again, the killers surrounded him and fired a dozen shots at him. Birre, who took five bullets, fell on the ground, but was still alive. That’s when two of the killers stabbed him with knives. To ensure the murder was a thorough job, some of them bludgeoned his head,” the SSP said.
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