Policemen keep vigil as protesters block Jemco Chowk in Telco on Sunday to protest against the murder of gym instructor Arun Namata (right) on Saturday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
The busy Telco-Jemco Road, which hosts around 50,000 heavy vehicles every day, remained paralysed for more than two hours on Sunday morning as local residents put up a blockade to protest the fatal gun assault on a gym instructor on Saturday evening.
A 500-strong mob — backed by local BJP MP Bidyut Baran Mahto and the party’s Jamshedpur East MLA Raghubar Das — demonstrated at Jemco Chowk from 10am and threatened to scuttle post-mortem proceedings if police did not arrest the accused who is absconding.
They withdrew the blockade around 12.30pm after Dhalbhum SDO Prem Ranjan and SSP Amol V. Homkar promised stern action.
Gym instructor at Telco Club and resident of Mahanand bustee in Jemco, Arun Namata (32) was shot thrice from close range after he had an altercation over money with transporter Goldy Singh (22) around 7.30pm on Saturday.
According to police, Goldy — who is incidentally the nephew of Dalbir Singh Birre, another transporter murdered on December 10 last year — had given Arun a loan of 40,000 for four months. The latter failed to cough up interest for the past two months and earned his ire.
“Last evening, Goldy drove to the bustee and called Arun out of his house. They had a heated exchange for some 20 minutes after which Goldy fished out his licensed pistol and fired three rounds. He sped away in his car,” said an officer associated with the murder probe.
Arun was rushed to Tata Motors Hospital with bullet wounds in the shoulder, lower abdomen and right leg. He was declared brought dead.
SSP Homkar said they had seized the murder weapon and car from Goldy’s adjoining Azad bustee home, but the accused was absconding.
“We have intensified our efforts to arrest him,” the officer added.
On where was Goldy’s bodyguard, provided to him by the district police after his uncle Birre’s murder, Homkar said they were trying to ascertain the same although witnesses said the accused was all alone when he shot Arun.
The protesters allowed police to send the body from Tata Motors Hospital to MGM Medical College for post-mortem after 12.30pm. It was handed over to family members around 3pm. The East Singhbhum administration has deployed a posse of policemen at Jemco apprehending trouble during last rites.
The victim lived in the urban slum with his wife and elderly mother, a BJP supporter.
MP Mahto said they would not sit idle till Arun’s killer was arrested. “Police are inactive in the city. Criminals are preying on innocent people and police are doing nothing. We will start an agitation if the killer is not arrested soon,” he added.