Official killed in loot bid

A senior official posted at the secretariat died after being shot during an alleged robbery attempt on his house in the high security R-Block area in the early hours of Tuesday, the incident again raising questions about law and order in the state and the city.

By Roshan Kumar in Patna
  • Published 15.08.18
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File picture of Rajeev Kumar (left) with daughter Antra and wife Rajni

Patna: A senior official posted at the secretariat died after being shot during an alleged robbery attempt on his house in the high security R-Block area in the early hours of Tuesday, the incident again raising questions about law and order in the state and the city.

Rajeev Kumar, 59, an under-secretary level official in the planning and development department, was shot once in the chest around 3am on Tuesday. He succumbed to his wounds at Ruban Memorial Hospital around 10am.

Rajeev's death comes a day after Union minister Upendra Kushwaha said law and order in the state under the Nitish Kumar government "had collapsed".

Rajeev was asleep at home with wife Rajni Ranjan and daughter Antra when three armed criminals broke in from the rear of the government quarters. Antra is a Class V student at St Karen's School.

Neighbours in the high-security area came to know about the incident after Rajni raised an alarm for help once the criminals fled. Santosh Kumar, a neighbour, said: "Rajni ji told us Rajeev heard the sound of some persons talking when he had gone to the washroom around 3am. He opened the door to see three criminals - in their mid-20s, their faces covered with towels - waiting in the courtyard."

The criminals demanded cash and jewellery in the house and the scared family handed over Rs 40,000. But the criminals demanded more and on refusal, the neighbours said, the robbers tried to molest Rajni. When Rajeev resisted, he was shot.

Rajni has lodged an FIR at Sachivalaya police station.

Santosh, the neighbour, said calls for medical help didn't elicit any response.

The under-secretary's house is in a high-security area with government quarters and legislators and ministers' bungalows. It is around 500m away from the state legislature and the Vikash Bhavan secretariat office.

Rajesh Singh Prabhakar, the deputy superintendent of police, Sachivalaya, said: "Prima facie it appears to be the work of local criminals." He added that personal enmity with the murdered official could not be ruled out too. "There is one entry and exit wound indicating that one bullet hit Rajeev," he said.

Sources in the secretariat said Rajeev was to retire next year.

The Opposition attacked the government over the poor law and order situation. RJD Maner MLA Bhai Birendra said: "This is maha-jungle raj as the criminals have no fear of police."