| Family members of Lal Bahadur Singh at his Postal Park home in Patna on Thursday. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
Police have made no headway in the Postal Park area murder case where a 70-year-old man was shot from point-blank range.
The deceased, identified as Lal Bahadur Singh, used to run a lodge in Kankerbagh. He was shot on Wednesday night when he was working in the kitchen of his house.
The police on Thursday said the claim that one of Singh’s sons, Sudhir, had shot him for property, could not be ascertained.
“There have been reports saying that Sudhir had killed him. The FIR, which has been lodged by Singh’s daughter Indu, also mentions Sudhir’s name. But investigations are on,” deputy superintendent of police (sadar) Mutaffiq Ahmed said.
He added that the deceased had married twice. Sudhir, Indu and Randhir, all middle-aged, are offsprings from his first wife, who has expired.
“His second wife is alive and the couple have one son, Sanjay. Lal stayed alone in the house. Randhir lives in Odisha. Sudhir, jobless, had constant squabbles with his father over property. There are a few rooms adjacent to the house and Lal had turned these into a lodge for students. Students there first heard the gunshots. They rushed to check what had happened. But by that time the attacker had fled,” the DSP said.
Sudhir was untraceable till the filing of the report.
“There was a property dispute within the family. Lal’s second wife stays with her son at various places in Patna,” the officer said.
Singh’s murder comes just four days after a businessman was killed in Bihta.
The trader, Manoj Chaurasia, too was gunned down at the Bihta overbridge on December 21.
Lal’s murder has raised questions about the security of people, especially senior citizens living alone.
A police officer, however, said: “Lal’s murder was the outcome of a personal vendetta. This was not the handiwork of a professional. So, one shouldn’t connect it with safety of people living alone.”
However, police records throw up a completely different picture.
On January 16, some criminals had entered the apartment of one Dulli Devi (70), when she was alone. The gang used to visit her apartment at Malahi Pakdi under the jurisdiction of Patrakar Nagar police station to buy old newspapers and they knew the time when the elderly woman was alone in the flat. The gang members beat her up and decamped with Rs 5,000 and some jewellery.
On May 8, 2012, two men barged into the house of a retired JD Women’s College professor.
The duo assaulted her and locked her up in the bathroom of her flat on the third floor of Arya Apartments in Shastri Nagar. They, too, decamped with cash and jewellery worth Rs 3 lakh.
In December, 2012, criminals robbed Rs 21,000 besides ornaments from the house of one Anjula, a teacher at Loyola School from her Surya Laxmi Apartments on east Boring Canal Road.
A police officer said these were the reasons why the police were emphasising on carrying out carrying out verification of household helps and tenants.
“People who were not interested in this process earlier are now showing interest in the verification drive. We hope that this move will prove fruitful,” the policeman said.