The Telegraph e-Paper
The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Shooter ‘shot’, target survives

An armed gang of three men, suspected to have international links but with very amateur gun skills, bungled an attack on the residence of a Bokaro steel city contractor on Wednesday night.

The shooters not only missed their target — Pappu Singh (41) — but one of them also left a tell-tale footage of himself in a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera installed outside the well-protected Sector XII house.

According to police, Singh had been receiving threats from Ranchi and Nepal asking him not to accept certain railway contracts.

Defying the diktat, the contractor filled the tender for a Rs 2.26-crore job under Adra railway division of South Eastern Railway. This, antagonised his enemies.

Around 8.45pm on Wednesday, Singh and his wife had barely entered their Q. No. 3302 residence, when the gang launched the attack. The contractor’s quick-thinking spouse managed to close the metal main gate and rush her husband inside just on time.

Frustrated in their endeavour, one of the criminals — armed with a revolver — tried to clamber up the main gate and take a clean shot. He was shot by the CCTV camera instead. After 10 minutes of a botched attempt, the three fled on a motorcycle.

Sources in the police said soon after the criminals left the spot, Singh received a call from Nepal. One Amit Chowdhry told him that his luck had favoured him only this once. The caller asked the contractor to be prepared for dire consequences (for filling up the railway tender) in the future.

Mustering courage, Singh informed police. City DSP Anil Shankar visited Sector XII and is investigating the case.

Coal Belt DIG Laxman Singh confirmed the gun attack on the contractor and said they were making necessary arrangements for his security. Police are also using the CCTV footage to identify the culprits who may have only been hired for the job.

Sources said some days ago a Ranchi-based criminal, Amrendra Tewary, had called Singh to threaten him. In all likelihood, the assailants were hired either by the Ranchi goon or his Nepal contacts.

Incidentally, four years ago, a senior IPS officer had traced Chowdhry’s calls to Nepal. The latter, however, could not be arrested because police there failed to co-operate.

A few months ago, another contractor, Vinay Mishra, was killed in Balidih for defying the railway mafia and accepting a plum job.