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Realtor shot dead over land tiff

- Cuffs on mastermind, five others on run

A land agreement gone sour cost a middle-aged man his life at Shahpur village on Tuesday.

Police said six men shot dead property dealer Ram Kumar Rai (35) around 3pm in the village under the jurisdiction of Gopalpur police station, around 10km south of Patna.

Lal Babu Rai, the main accused, was arrested thereafter. The fresh incident, which comes close on the heels of a string of crimes in the state capital, has put extra pressure on the men-in-uniform.

An officer at Gopalpur police station said: “Ram Kumar Rai was engaged in land deals. Initial investigations have indicated that arrested Lal Babu and his associates, who are absconding, shot Ram dead. Manish Kumar, who was accompanying friend Ram, suffered bullet injuries and was admitted to a private hospital. The police will question him for details.”

“Ram and one Sushila Devi, a relative of Lal Babu, entered into an agreement over a 25-acre plot in the same village. However, a conflict ensued. Around 8 on Tuesday morning, Lal Babu and his associates allegedly went to the plot and fired a few rounds in the air to terrorise Ram, who was under the protection of friend Manish,” said the officer.

Narrating the sequence thereafter, the officer said: “Manish has criminal antecedents. After the morning incident, Lal Babu allegedly called up Ram and somehow convinced him to go over to his residence to settle the matter once and for all. Ram trusted Lal Babu. Around 2.30pm, he along with Manish, went to Lal Babu’s house in the same village for talks, which went on for half-an-hour. Just as Ram and Manish stepped out of the house and took a few steps, Lal Babu and his men allegedly fired eight to 10 rounds at them from behind and fled. An injured Manish managed to contact Ram’s family members, who took the duo to a private hospital. The doctors declared Ram brought dead.”

The police suspect the involvement of five men apart from Lal Babu. Attempts to arrest them are on.

“We have been successful in nabbing Lal Babu, the main conspirator. He is being grilled. Ram’s body has been sent for post-mortem. The absconding men would be nabbed soon,” said the police officer.


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