| Police at the crime site on Wednesday. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
Two armed men shot a 38-year-old man dead and fled with Rs 12 lakh he was carrying to a bank, on a busy street on Wednesday.
The incident occurred around 12.30pm, right in front of the gate of the Bank of Baroda branch near Munna Chowk area under the jurisdiction of the Patrakar Nagar police station.
The deceased, 39-year-old Purushottam Mishra, worked at Shivam Hospital’s Srijan wing, around 1km from the spot.
Hospital owner Shanti Roy’s son Himanshu Roy, also a doctor, looks after the wing. Mishra used to work under him in a managerial capacity.
Two bullets hit Mishra, one in the stomach and another in the rib cage after which the criminals fled in different directions on foot, one of them carrying the bag of money with him, police sources told The Telegraph.
“It is a shocking incident. A number of things are unclear at the moment but the police believe the two men were waiting for Mishra near the bank. They knew he would be coming to deposit the money. At present, it is not clear from where Mishra started for the bank. Mishra was riding a motorcycle and the money was in the bike’s side box. He parked the bike near the bank, took the money out of the box and was preparing to enter the bank when he was fired upon. The guards at the bank were inside the building during the shootout and were clueless.
“As soon as Mishra fell to the ground, the two men took the cash and fled in different directions. Some onlookers lifted Mishra and rushed him to the Aastha Lok Hospital, a few metres from the spot. Residents called up Patna SSP Manu Maharaaj who sounded the local police station after which they reached the spot. Around 2pm, the doctors declared him dead,” a police source told The Telegraph.
Mishra was from Muzaffarpur district and used to live in Kumhar Toli area of Patna under the jurisdiction of Kankerbagh police station. His wife, two sons — Roshan and Rahul, aged 18 and 13 years, respectively — and his parents used to live with him.
Police sources said the operation was a well-planned crime. “These men were on foot and ran in different directions to reduce chances of them getting caught. In all likelihood more associates of theirs were waiting to pick them up from a specific location on bikes or a car,” a police officer at the Patrakar Nagar police station told The Telegraph.
Sources have told the police that a four-wheeler was waiting for the murderers but the police cannot confirm this until investigations are over. “The man had left the hospital with the money so an insider’s hand cannot be ruled out. The police are holding investigations and interrogating people. The case will be solved and those involved will be nabbed for sure,” the police officer said.
Residents blamed police lapses for the daylight crime.
“This is a busy street. Just opposite the bank is the Central School’s northern boundary wall. Not very far is the College of Commerce. The police should have been patrolling this area more frequently. If something like this happens on such a busy street, the police should be held responsible,” a resident of the area said.
The police are also verifying the deceased man’s family background and enmity.
“Prima facie, it looks like a murder for loot. But the police are looking at all possible angles. The family is in a state of shock. But the police will be talking to family members to unearth clues or leads, if any. All the staff at his workplace will be questioned as the police strongly suspect it was an insider job. Right now the police cannot comment when investigations are on,” the officer at the Patrakar Nagar police station said.