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Firearms on rent link to trader murder

Patna, Dec. 28: Three men arrested from Danapur today are suspected of killing businessman Manoj Chaurasia last week.

The three are henchmen of Ritlal Yadav who is lodged in Beur Central Jail. Based on a tip-off, a team caught the three from Hiramanpur Pakdi and Anandpur villages in the district’s Danapur sub-division. They are suspected of murdering Chaurasia with borrowed firearms.

Senior superintendent of police Manu Maharaj said firearms, including a .315 bore rifle, a 12 bore double barrel gun and two country made pistols, have been recovered from their possession. Investigations have revealed the weapons were allegedly rented out by the mukhiya of Hiramanpur Pakdi, Manish Yadav. The police are looking for Yadav, who allegedly operates a gang of his own.

Maharaj said: “There was a spurt in crime in the Danapur and Bihta areas for some time. A special team was formed under Patna city superintendent of police Jayant Kant to look into the cases. The team, on the basis of a tip-off, raided Hiramanpur Pakdi and Anandpur villages in Danapur and arrested the three criminals. The firearms were recovered from them. Though the police are not certain, after initial interrogation we have some clues in the murder of Manoj Chaurasia from these people. The matter is under investigation.”

Chaurasia was shot dead in the middle of the Bihta overbridge, around 30km west of Patna, on December 21. He had Rs 10 lakh in his bag.

A police officer said: “The motive of killing Chaurasia was loot. He was carrying Rs 10 lakh to deposit in a bank when he was shot. The police doubt that one of the weapons seized today were used in the crime. The three belong to Ritlal Yadav’s gang. Several of his henchmen are active and are extorting businessmen.”

The police have also recovered 20 live cartridges of different bores from the trio arrested today.

Maharaj said: “The cops are looking for Manish Yadav. Investigations have revealed that the firearms recovered belonged to him. He used to lend them to different gangs for money. For rifles, he used to charge Rs 1,000 a day. He has a gang of his own and although the weapons are original, they have been possessed illegally. Once he is arrested, the modus operandi will come to light.”

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