Ramesh Shau, alias Dukhia, a 34-year-old gangster with criminal records ranging from murder to extortion, was gunned down on the crowded Cossipore Road on Tuesday afternoon. Ramesh was shot from point-blank range and the killers hurled bombs at him as well, and walked away from the scene of the murder before anyone stirred to raise an alarm.
The incident took place around 1 pm at the intersection of Jheel Road and Cossipore Road, while Ramesh was returning to his Khagen Chatterjee Road residence on his motorcycle. “A group of four unidentified persons ambushed him at the crossing, when Ramesh had to slow down in the dense traffic,” said Soumen Mitra, deputy commissioner of police, detective department.
“After examining the bullet wound, we suspect two miscreants had walked close to his mobike. One of them whipped out a revolver and fired at him from behind,” said an officer at Cossipore police station.
As Ramesh slumped to the ground, the other gangsters started hurling bombs at him, and then walked away.
Ramesh died on the spot as the bullet pierced his skull and bomb splinters bruised his body. No arrest has been made in this connection so far. Police said the incident was the fallout of a long-standing rivalry between two groups of anti-socials.
“Ramesh was released on bail a few months ago. Since then, he was absconding to avoid his rivals,” said Mitra. The victim escaped from Presidency jail in 1998. He was arrested again last year, but obtained bail a few months ago. “There are six murder cases pending against him. Besides, the Chitpur and Cossipore police booked him on charges of extortion,” Mitra added.
None of the locals dared to come forward, though the ghastly murder was committed in broad daylight. “Even the shop-owners of the area were tight-lipped and failed to provide any description of the assassins. They could not even tell us which route they took while they fled,” said deputy commissioner Mitra.
Ramesh’s body lay on the middle of the road in a pool of blood even 10 minutes after the assailants had left the spot. Finally, a group of local residents mustered enough courage to ferry him to RG Kar Hospital, where he was declared brought dead.
The police are now busy investigating Ramesh’s movements in recent times. “The victim’s family members have not disclosed names of anybody they suspect,” said an officer probing the case.
Cossipore police later said they have got some leads on the killers. “We have identified the group. We are getting in touch with North 24-Parganas police, as the criminals could have taken refuge in the Baranagar and Khardah areas,” said an officer in Cossipore thana.