Patna, Dec. 29: The crime graph in Bihar notched up more victims today when two contract labourers of the Indian Oil Corporation at Begusarai and a city petrol pump owner were murdered.
Neeraj Mishra and Malla Rai of the oil refinery in north Bihar, the only working industry worth its name in the state today, were killed allegedly as a punishment for their contractorís refusal to pay up a gang said to be based in Patna.
The refinery has been in the news of late for being plagued by extortion demands. Residents today blocked National Highway 31, passing through Begusarai, in protest.
The companyís executive director is said to have written to the Bihar director-general of police a week ago, describing the threats to contractors from criminals which, he said, were hindering the firmís functioning.
The heart of Patna, too, witnessed a murder today when petrol pump owner S.K. Mishra was shot dead by motorcycle-borne goons close to the district police headquarters and the district magistrateís home.
The assailants are said to have escaped with over Rs 10 lakh that Mishra was carrying in his car to deposit in a bank.
Gaya, where government engineer Satyendra Dubey was killed late last month, too, was not untouched.
Another engineer, with a private company, died last night under what is said to be mysterious circumstances.
Amit Mishra is said to have vomited during a party in Gaya last night. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he died. The autopsy report is yet to come.
Like Dubey, Mishra of Gammon Company, which does construction work for the Centre on contract, was employed as an engineer on the Gaya segment of the Golden Quadrilateral highway project.
Tease trauma replay
As police launched raids today to arrest the four persons accused of attacking a cultural troupe from Jammu and Kashmir travelling by the Himgiri Express last week, another molestation bid was reported on the 5645 Dadar-Guwahati Express.
Goons forced themselves into a sleeper coach at Mughalsarai at 10 last night and passed obscene comments at Sikkimese women, said Vijay Kumar Verma, the Barauni deputy superintendent of railway police.
They broke the glass cover of the tubelights, the shards of which fell on the women. The goons got down at Mokama and stoned the coach. Sita Shunua of the group lodged an FIR against unknown persons.
Five Government Railway Police personnel were suspended today for dereliction of duty in the Himgiri Express case.