Meheraj Khan who was shot dead; (below) police officers at the spot where Khan was shot. Pictures by Gopal Senapati
Two men walked up to a pedestrian and shot him dead in front of a college teeming with students and in a crowded lane in Shibpur on Friday afternoon.
Before the students and others could realise that a bullet had been fired, the killers walked away.
The daylight murder showed yet again how crime has crept closer home and the perpetrators have turned brazen.
Police said 50-year-old Meheraj Khan was walking down Kazipara Lane when the two walked up to him and shot him at point-blank range just in front of the main gate of Dinabandhu Institution.
The bullet pierced Khan’s temple, leaving him writhing in a pool of blood.
Residents said even before he could be rushed to the nearest hospital, the employee of the South Bengal State Transport Corporation had died.
“It was around noon and I had gone to the college with my mother. From the college gate I could see the body lying in blood,” said Priya Shaw, who has passed Class XII and came to the college to know the date of admission to the first-year class.
“It was scary to see someone dying just opposite the main gate of a college,” she said.
As word about the murder spread, panic hit the crowd outside the college and spread to the houses along the narrow lane. Several shop-owners immediately downed their shutters while others called up Shibpur police station.
A team of officers arrived within half an hour and cordoned off the spot before collecting the victim’s blood samples.
“A murder so close to the college has left us shaken,” said Sujit Narayan Chattopadhyay, the principal of the 64-year-old institution.
Preliminary investigation revealed Meheraj, a resident of Kazipara Lane, was locked in a dispute over a plot with his sister and brother-in-law Jawed Ansari.
Sources said the plot belonged to Meheraj’s mother. Since her death a year and a half ago, the brother and the sister had been fighting for their rights to the land.
Khan’s wife Ashma Parvin alleged that Ansari had killed her husband.
“Khan’s family has lodged a complaint against Jawed Ansari,” said Nishat Pervez, the deputy commissioner of police (headquarters), Howrah.
Ansari is absconding. The police are yet to know the identity of the two who killed Khan.