JVM leader Banna Gupta outside his office in Kadma, Jamshedpur. Picture by Srinivas
Jamshedpur, Aug. 8: Four motorbike-borne criminals shot at JVM state general-secretary Banna Gupta's Tata Sumo and his office in Kadma around 3.40pm today.
The JVM leader, who was in his office at the time, escaped unhurt. Later, he lodged an FIR against Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leader Hidayatullah Khan accusing him of masterminding the attack on him.
The unidentified gunmen, who came on two bikes, fired indiscriminately at Gupta’s office in the city.
One of the pillion-riders fired six shots on Gupta’s Tata Sumo stationed near the office. After opening fire, the criminals took the Kadma Main Road to flee the spot.
According to eyewitnesses, the pillion-rider was firing from two guns together and also abusing Gupta. The incident took place around 3.40pm. Soon after, a police team, led by Manoj Gupta arrived on the spot.
The officer in charge confirmed the incident but said it was not an attempt to kill the JVM leader. “It seemed to be an act of unleashing fear,” he said. He revealed that the police had recovered two pillets from the spot but could not conclude anything about the make of the guns.
“We have recovered two pillets but we cannot say whether the goons used a pistol or some other equipment. We are investigating the incident,” Gupta said.
He also confirmed that the shooter used two guns to fire simultaneously.
The police said Banna has lodged an FIR and has named Lok Janshakti Party leader Hidayatullah Khan alias Hidayat Khan as the man responsible for the firing.
“We have received an FIR where the LJP leader has been named an accused. We are probing the incident and would take necessary action against him if we collect any substantial evidence,” said the officer in charge.
The JVM leader, while speaking to The Telegraph, said he was anticipating such an attack from Khan, who also has a criminal background.
“Khan is frustrated. He fired at my office and my car because he wanted to subdue me. But the more he resorts to such criminal acts, the more his political career will suffer,” said Banna.
He said it was now up to the administration to take action against the accused.
Since the past couple of weeks, there has been a cold war between the JVM and LJP leaders over a series of issues, including the dismantling of the water meter by Banna in Kadma, Sonari and Bistupur.
When contacted, Hidayatullah Khan, state president Lok Janshakti Party, said he was ready to face any investigation to prove his innocence. “In fact, JVM is worried over my growing popularity and is trying to malign my image,” he said .