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Gang war comeback looms large

- Armed rivalry cloud in underworld after Anant aide murder, police on lookout for killer duo of suspected Viveka faction

Gang rivalry is all set to make a comeback to the city this New Year following the killing of Rajeev Singh, a close aide of MLA Anant Kumar Singh.

Rajeev, a contractor, was riddled with bullets by four men at his Anandpuri residence late on Sunday night.

Though police have failed to pick up the assailants even 36 hours after the murder, the underworld is agog with the reports that two of the attackers — Bhola Singh and Mukesh — had of late joined hands with Anant’s archrival Viveka Pahalwan, who is behind bars at present.

Viveka is a co-villager of the Mokama MLA, a native of Nadma in Patna district.

Sources said Anant’s supporters were searching for both Bhola and Mukesh, said to be residents of Pandarak in Patna rural, to avenge Rajeev’s killing.

Patna senior superintendent of police (SSP) Manu Maharaj said two persons — -Bhola and Mukesh — have been made named accused in the case. “Efforts are on to arrest the accused,” he said.

Rajeev (40) had survived at least thrice in the past and was recently tipped off about attack on him. “He used to return to his flat in the MLA’s vehicle under tight security arrangements,” a relative of the deceased contractor told The Telegraph.

Bhola, who had left Central Reserve Police Force, was at loggerheads with Rajeev because he believed that the MLA’s aide had played a role in the raid on his village home last year. Several illegal firearms and live cartridges were seized during the search by the special task force personnel.

Rajeev, married two years ago but without a child, also invited the wrath of Viveka for his alleged involvement in the murder of his (Viveka’s) shooter Rajesh alias Fauzi in Jharkhand’s Dhanbad about a year ago. Rajesh’s murder was fallout of the killing of Anant’s brother Fazo Singh in Barh (Patna rural). Fazo’s murder was a severe jolt to Anant, who was accused of plotting the killing of Viveka’s brother Sanjay Singh in Patna.

The police, however, gave a clean chit to Anant in the Sanjay Singh murder case lodged with the Kotwali police station in Patna. “Till date, at least 15 people have lost lives in the rivalry between the two dons,” a close confidant of Viveka said, adding that the war of supremacy was going on between the two for over a decade.

Rajeev, police sources said, was facing charges of murder, attempt to murder and kidnapping. At least 22 cases were lodged against him in Barh, Pandarak and Mokama police stations in Patna, Barauni in Begusarai and Muzaffarpur besides a few cases in Jharkhand. His name had also figured in the killing of one Boudhi Yadav of the Barh-Mokama tal (riverine belt) area.

Rajeev stepped into the word of crime under the tutelage of Tunni Singh and his maternal uncle Bana Singh in 2004. Tunni was later killed in a police encounter in Patna. After Tunni’s killing, he came in contact with Naga Singh, a notorious gangster of Mokama. Naga was also arrested from Jamshedpur in Jharkhand. After Naga’s arrest, Rajeev came in contact with Anant and started work for him. He is alleged to have earned a huge profit in the contract of construction of a thermal power unit in Barh.

Earlier, Bhola Singh, the main accused in Rajeev’s murder, used to call the shots in Barh and had close links with the officials of the thermal power unit.

Anant, popularly called “Chhote Sarkar”, was not available for his comments.

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