Bloodstains at the murder spot at Ranchi station on Friday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Ranchi, Jan. 17: A young parateacher hailing from Deoghar’s Jasidih was shot dead at point-blank range at 4.30am today on Ranchi station’s platform No. 4, minutes after he alighted from Dumka-Ranchi Intercity Express with two companions, pointing to the absence of security on the premises.
Prem Chand, alias Phool Kumar (32), the teacher boarded the train from Jasidih station yesterday evening around 8.30pm and spent the night in a sleeper class compartment (S1).
So far, the motive behind the murder has not been officially cracked, but preliminary probe points to the para-teacher’s dubious money transactions.
Apparently, Chand is a native of Jamui district in Bihar, where he worked as a para-teacher, which is very near Jasidih in Jharkhand, where he built a house. He allegedly amassed some Rs 25 lakh by duping youths with promises of jobs in Bihar police and used this ill-gotten capital to fund a water filtration business.
Another theory doing the rounds is that Chand developed bad blood with one Babloo, alias Akshatanand, a Ranchi resident who runs a kindergarten in Deoghar called Sunrise, over Rs 20 lakh. The role of Akshatanand in Chand’s arrival in Ranchi is being probed.
Inspector of Government Railway Police (GRP), Ranchi, Mahadeo Oraon said Chand came to Ranchi for “personal work”.
The onus of station security falls on GRP personnel, while their RPF counterparts are supposed to provide security inside trains.
On how a shooting could take place on a platform of the station of the state capital, Oraon claimed his constables were present, but had been some distance away from the crime spot. “The victim was shot point-blank in front of his two friends. It took some seconds. As it is very dark at 4.30am, the shooter and two accomplices sprinted towards platform No. 5 adjacent to railway staff quarters and escaped,” Oraon said.
An RPF officer said youths seemed to be between 20 and 25 years old. “It was too dark to see properly,” he said.
Interestingly, police have not yet recovered the bullet though it jutted out of the victim’s head.
According to the victim’s friends Pramod Kumar and Birendra Kumar, this morning, when the train reached Ranchi, the para-teacher told them that he wanted to go to the washroom and asked them to wait for him on the platform.
After seven-eight minutes, when Chand alighted from the standing train and joined Pramod and Birendra, two youths suddenly grabbed him and a third shot him once cleanly on the left temple.
“The bullet made an exit wound on the right side and the para-teacher died on the spot,” Oraon said.
A formal FIR was registered at 4pm. Officer in charge of GRP, Ranchi, A.N. Singh took preliminary statements of Pramod and Birendra.
It is not clear if the youths were following the para-teacher from Jasidih or were waiting for him at Ranchi station after taking details about his journey.
A source from Jasidih said yesterday, before Chand left his home, two youths had tried to meet him.
The victim’s family members — he leaves behind a widow and child — in Jasidih have been told and the body taken for post-mortem at RIMS, Ranchi.