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Murder spurs road blockade

A 40-year-old land broker was shot dead near Tupudana Chowk in Jagannathpur, around 18km from Ranchi district headquarters, on Wednesday night, prompting local residents to block the Ranchi-Khunti Road on Thursday afternoon to protest against the daring murder.

Two motorcycle-borne criminals opened fire at Lal Ashok Nath Shahdeo when he was sitting in his SUV near Tupudana Chowk around 9.45pm with his two associates.

According to sources, the killers fired five rounds with one of the bullets hitting him in the ribs. Shahdeo’s friend Sunil Sahu (48), who rushed to save him from his hardware shop in the locality, also received a bullet near his waist.

The criminals fled the scene and local people rushed the injured duo to RIMS, Ranchi, where Shahdeo was declared brought dead. Sahu is undergoing treatment.

Superintendent of police (SP), city, Anoop Birtharay said the motive for the murder was not clear yet. “None from Shahdeo’s family has lodged any formal FIR with the police till this afternoon. Proper investigations will start as soon as we receive a complaint from his relatives,” he added.

A senior police, however, said a land-related dispute seemed to have been the trigger for the murder. “The family members may tell us if they suspect anyone or if Shahdeo had any enmity with anybody. So we are waiting for a formal complaint,” he added.

According to sources, Shahdeo, who has been survived by wife Dolly, son Vansh (1) and daughter Kanak (3) and widow mother, is the fourth in the family who had been murdered like this. “His father Lal Bhanu Nath Shahdeo and two elder brothers were shot dead in the same manner in the last 10 years,” said a local resident.

Agitated over the Wednesday’s killing, local residents staged demonstrations with Shahdeo’s body at Ancillary Chowk and Tupudana Chowk from 12.30pm, throwing the traffic on the Ranchi-Khunti Road haywire.

Sources said around 100 residents had hit the road to demand proper compensation for the next of kin of the deceased and immediate arrest of the murderers. Several vehicles, including school buses remained trapped in the jam for around an hour owing to the blockades, forcing senior police officers to rush to the spot.