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Court shooter nabbed in Patna

Patna: A special task force of Bihar police on Thursday arrested sharpshooter Harish Kumar Singh, alias Hari Singh, a close associate of jailed Jharkhand don Akhilesh Singh, from a flat in the city where he was hiding in relative anonymity ever since his name figured in an audacious court murder in Jamshedpur more than a year ago.

Harish was wanted in connection with the daylight murder of former JMM leader and businessman Upendra Singh on civil court premises in Sitaramdera on November 30, 2016.

The task force, led by SP Ranjeet Kumar Mishra, acted on a tip-off and raided an apartment near LCT Ghat under the jurisdiction of Patliputra police in Patna and took Harish (35) into custody.

The sharpshooter, a native of Bhojpur district in Bihar, was unarmed. A police source said he was with his wife when the team arrested him.

IG (operations) Kundan Krishnan confirmed the arrest of Harish and that he was a member of the Akhilesh Singh gang. Harish, the IG said, had confessed to his involvement in Upendra Singh's killing.

"We have handed him (Harish) over to Jharkhand police as no case was pending against him in Bihar. He will be taken to Jamshedpur on transit remand," Kundan said, adding that over a dozen cases were pending against Harish in Jharkhand.

East Singhbhum Anoop Birtharay SSP said they had learnt Harish had changed his name to Rehan in Patna and they were trying to ascertain if he forged his ID proof (Aadhaar card, etc.) while taking a flat on rent.

"We had attached his house in Jamshedpur after the murder in 2016. Last week, we got the tip-off about Patna. A team led by DSP (composite control room) Sudhir Kumar was camping in Patna for four days," Birtharay said, adding that an SUV and three mobile phones had been seized.

The residents of Gangotri Apartment near LCT Ghat on Gandhi Maidan-Danapur road were taken aback when they came to know about Harish's involvement in the sensational murder case. "He never behaved like a don," a resident of the complex said.

Harish had hired the flat on rent a year ago, apparently through a local property dealer. "Nobody suspected him. Most of the time he used to stay inside the flat," said a security guard. <>Harish, STF SP Ranjeet Mishra said, is considered the most trusted shooter in the Akhilesh Singh gang. His name figures among the top 10 wanted gangsters of Jharkhand. Akhilesh was arrested from Gurgaon in Haryana after a shootout with police in October last year.

During interrogation, Harish is learnt to have revealed that Upendra Singh's murder was the fallout of rivalry with his business partner Ram Sakal Yadav. Upendra owned a travel agency on the court premises and was also in the real estate business.

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