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New Year murders trigger roadblock

- Police fail to arrest any of the masked gunmen who killed 2 Mango residents

Around 500 residents of Mango, Jamshedpur, blocked busy Dimna Road for three hours on Thursday morning, seeking immediate arrest of three masked men who shot dead two persons on Wednesday evening in Mango, but the police have not made any headway.

On Wednesday night, three bike-borne criminals pumped three bullets into cosmetics trader Baiju Shaw (21) and newly married college girl Shakuntala Mishra (21), residents of Mango’s Sankosai locality, who died on the spot. The trio also shot at another youth, Sonu Kumar Rajak, at Sankosai in Mango.

The trio were rushed to Tata Main Hospital, where Baiju and Shakuntala were declared brought dead. Sonu, who received a shot in his right palm, is stable.

Baiju, Sonu, Niranjan Kumar Jha — Shakuntala’s brother — and another youth were chatting in the neighbourhood when the criminals came and opened fire.

Senior superintendent of police Amol V. Homkar maintained preliminary investigations suggested the killers wanted to settle previous score with Baiju and hoped to crack the case “very soon.”

Apparently, Baiju and his friends, out picnicking on New Year day, got into a brawl with two youths in an SUV near Jaduguda. After a war of words, Baiju and his group thrashed the duo.

This is the only motive found so far for Baiju’s murder. According to this theory, Shakuntala and Sonu just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But the public firing in the crowded Mango locality has touched a raw nerve. Apart from demanding arrests of killers, the protesters, supported by BJP and JVM workers, want Olidih thana outpost OC Mahesh Prasad be transferred and next-of-kin of Baiju and Shakuntala be compensated.

Demonstrations that hit the street around 9am, included burning of tyres at Sankosai road No. 1 crossing, throwing traffic out of gear.

The blockade lifted around 1pm when SP (city) Karthik S. promised to arrest culprits and look into other demands.

According to Olidih OC Prasad, the masked youths fired eight-nine shots from 9mm pistols. “But, we will be able to confirm exactly how many bullets were fired when autopsy reports come,” he added.

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