Two members of a family were killed over a plot of land at Sukarbegchak village under the jurisdiction of Khushrupur police station in Patna rural, 25km east of the city, on Sunday.
Another person, Yogendra Singh, said to be a member of the rival group that made the murderous attack, suffered bullet injuries in the firing and has been admitted to Fatuha referral hospital for treatment.
Police said the trouble erupted around 9am on Sunday when Ram Janam Singh (55) and his son Rajesh (28) visited the plot they had purchased from a woman about five months ago.
The father-son duo wanted to harvest a barley crop on the plot. But Yogendra Singh and his men, who had been tilling the land for long, opposed the father-son duo’s arrival.
The members of the two groups clashed and in the ensuing firing Ram Janam and his son were killed. Yogendra, too, suffered injuries in the firing.
Fatuha sub-divisional police officer Anoj Kumar said three empty cartridges were recovered from the site of the incident. “The incident is the fallout of a land dispute. Raids are on to apprehend the accused, absconding since the incident,” he said.
The sub-divisional police officer, however, refused to disclose the names of the accused, saying it would hamper the investigations.
“We would provide information to the media only when the accused are arrested,” Kumar told The Telegraph over the phone from Fatuha.
On getting information, Patna superintendent of police (rural) B.N. Jha enquired about the incident and issued necessary instruction to the police station house officer of Khushrupur police station. “A posse of armed forces has been deployed at the village to ward off any untoward incident following the murders,” he told The Telegraph.
Tension has gripped the area after the killings. The police have also failed to recover the weapons used for committing the crime.
Khushrupur police station house officer (SHO) Anil Kumar said the deceased father and son had purchased the land in question from Mahapati Devi last year (2013).
Mahapati Devi had got the ownership of the land from her parents after the latter gifted it to her for being their lone heir.
The station house officer said Mahapati had given the land for agricultural purposes to Yogendra, who in turn, used to give her some money from the produce.
“But Ram Janam Singh staked claim to the ownership of the land as well as the standing crops, which led to the tiff between the two groups,” he further said.
Male members of most families staying at the village have fled apprehending trouble. A local resident said: “There are chances that we will get framed in the case. As a result, most of the male members have shifted to elsewhere for the time being.”