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Adityapur murder plot was hatched behind bars

- Police name notorious criminals, contractor Lala killed for being rival gang head’s cousin

A criminal sitting behind bars had planned Sunday’s gun attack at Adityapur Muslim Bustee, killing one person and injuring two others, to teach a lesson to a rival gang leader.

Although notorious criminal Mohammed Kadim and eight of his associates had sprayed bullets on Abdul Mutlif, alias Mohammed Lala, the mastermind was Mohammed Salauddin, who is currently lodged in Ghaghidih Central Jail.

Police, who confirmed the involvement of the two in the murder, said that Lala, a small-time contractor with criminal links, was targeted because he was related to Mohammed Majla, the kingpin of a rival gang.

The 36-year-old resident of Adityapur Muslim Bustee was gunned down at Dindli Bazaar in the evening when he was out shopping for his five-year-old son’s birthday party, yet again underscoring the need for proper vigil on roads.

Two others — Jamil Ansari and Farid Ali — who were with Lala sustained bullet wounds and were rushed to Tata Main Hospital.

On Monday, police spoke to Farid, who revealed the names of most of the assailants.

“We were able to take down Jamil’s statements as he is in a relatively better condition than Farid to speak. He has given the names of six of the eight attackers besides Kadim, who fled Seraikela jail a year ago. The gang is involved in a number of cases of robbery, loot, murder and extortion. Kadim targeted Lala as he wanted to avenge his enmity with Majla, who is the deceased’s cousin,” Seraikela-Kharsawan’s superintendent of police (SP) Madan Mohan Lal, who took Jamil’s statement, told The Telegraph.

Another police officer, who is part of the investigation team, added that Kadim is a close associate of criminal Salauddin.

“The murder was actually masterminded by Salauddin from behind bars,” he said.

On the basis of the revelations, police launched a search operation at Azadnagar in Mango and Kapali Bustee in adjoining Seraikela-Kharsawan district, where Kadim and his men are suspected to have taken shelter.

“Kadim’s gang used to commit crimes in Adityapur and other parts of the steel city and hide themselves in densely populated Azadnagar and adjoining Kapali Bustee. We have, therefore, started random search in houses of Azadnagar and Kapali,” said a police officer.

On Monday morning, additional superintendent of police, Seraikela, Naresh Kumar visited the murder spot and also Lala’s house. “We visited Adityapur Muslim Bustee to ensure that there is no law and order problem. Kadim and his men have started a reign of terror in the region. We hope to arrest them soon,” the additional SP said.

On Sunday evening, the assailants had first lobbed bombs at Lala.

When the explosives failed to go off, they fired over 10 rounds. Lala was hit by four bullets and died on the spot. Farid took one bullet on his chest, while Jamil sustained injuries on both hands. Farid has been shifted to the intensive care unit, where his condition is still serious.

What can be done to beef up security at jails and neighbourhoods? Tell ttkhand@abpmail.com