The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Tata suspects face joint quiz

Jamshedpur, June 26: The district police have decided to take P. Ratna “Johnny” Rao’s wife Chanda “Dolly” Rao on remand before the end of Shiv Narayan Yadav alias Chotka’s period of detention.

Rao, a Tata steel employee and former international basketball player, was shot at by two youths from point-blank range outside his residence on June 19. He succumbed to injuries at the Tata Main Hospital the next day.

The police believe a direct interaction between the two main conspirators behind Rao’s murder — Dolly and Chotka — would help them find answers to some of the questions regarding the killing.

According to superintendent of police Arun Oraon, the police want to cross-check all the statements given by Dolly and Chotka at different points during their interrogation. “We will make them counter each other’s statements in person rather than separately. This will also help verify some of the evidence collected during the course of investigation suggesting their involvement in the murder,” Oraon said.

After a session of direct confrontation, there will be no chance of the conspirators changing their statements, he added. The session will also help the police ascertain what Dolly and Chotka had actually discussed during their conversations before the murder.

Oraon said Dolly had told the police in her statement that she had not been in touch with Chotka for the past one year but the print-out of calls on Chotka’s mobile phone over the last one month before the murder shows that the duo talked everyday.

“However, we are particularly interested in knowing what the topic of conversation between the two was in the 26-minute conversation the day before the murder,” said Oraon.

He said another mystery was how the money was paid to the killers for the murder. Bringing the two main conspirators to confront each other will also help answer this question.

“Police suspect that Rs 32,000 withdrawn from the joint account of Rao and Dolly was used to pay the killers. Since Rao is dead, Dolly is the only one who can give us the answers. It is clear that the amount was used for the murder, but we are interested to know how the money was transferred to Chotka or the killers,” Oraon said.

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