The charred car in which the bodies were found in Hazaribagh on Saturday. Picture by Vishvendu Jaipuriar
Hazaribagh, March 15: A burnt car with four charred bodies inside was recovered off GT Road near Barkatha this morning, proving yet again that Hazaribagh has become an easy dumping ground for criminals.
Local villagers were the first to spot the burnt car — a Santro from Cuttack, Odisha — in a forest area about half a kilometre from Gunjra More around 7am. The deserted spot is hardly ever patrolled by police. The nearest human settlement is about 1.5km away while the district headquarters is about 61km away.
The villagers soon informed the police, who rushed to the spot and found four bodies that had been burnt beyond recognition inside the car.
While two bodies were in front, the other two were on the back seat.
Police also found some bangles from the back seat, which suggest that one of the victims was a woman.
Hazaribagh superintendent of police (SP) Manoj Kaushik visited the spot along with forensic experts and fingerprint experts.
A sniffer dog was brought in, but so far the police have made no headway.
Sub-divisional officer of Barhi Avinash Kumar said it appeared that the victims were killed elsewhere and then brought to Gunjra in the car which was then set ablaze. “It seems the crime was committed sometime last night or in the wee hours of today,” he added.
The killers were well prepared. For, they took away the number plate of the car. SP Kaushik, however, noted down the engine number, which helped the police that the car was from Cuttack.
Police sources said the location of Gunjra, on the border of Barhi and Barkatha blocks with a thick cover of bushes on either side of GT Road, made it easy for the criminals to carry out their job and slip away.
“In this case, the car was taken to an isolated area that is inaccessible. The vehicle was driven through the bushes off GT Road,” a police officer said.
Sources said criminals found it easy to dump bodies in Hazaribagh along GT Road that leads to Giridih, Dhanbad and then to Bengal on one side and to Gaya (Bihar) on the other.
“There have been many such instances before. But most of the times, police have failed to ascertain the identity of the victims,” said the officer.
The SP promised to step up patrolling on the key link lined with forests on both sides. “I will myself monitor the vigil,” Kaushik said.