Patna: Two persons were killed while four others sustained injuries, all members of the same family, after being sprayed with bullets on Monday by a man living in their neighbourhood who was besotted with a woman in their household, a senior police officer said.
Gunshots reverberated through the Punjabi Mohalla locality of Lakhisarai town in Bihar when a family was returning home after paying obeisance to the rising sun at a ghat, the ritual marking the conclusion of the Chhath festival.
According to Sanjay Kumar, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Munger Range, under whose jurisdiction Lakhisarai falls, “the attacker has been identified as Ashish Chaudhary who lived right across the street from the family to which the woman belonged”.
The woman, Durga, survived the attack while her two elder brothers Chandan and Raj Nandan were killed. Her father Shashi Bhushan and sisters-in-law Preeti and Lovely also sustained injuries.
The DIG told PTI-Bhasha over the phone “Chaudhary has fled the spot and efforts were on to nab him. Two of his close friends have been picked up for questioning. The weapon used in the attack has also been seized”.
Some family members of Durga alleged before the media that they have been receiving threats from Chaudhary who was “adamant upon marrying Durga, which we could not agree to since he belonged to a lower caste”.
However, the DIG said, “We are investigating the matter from many angles. Some vital clues have emerged from a notebook of Chaudhary which the local police has seized”.
“From the scribblings in the notebook, it appears that Durga had secretly got married to Chaudhary a few years ago and the two lived together for some time. There are also a few photographs of them together”, said the DIG.
He added, “As per Chaudhary’s notebook, Durga returned to her parents home a few months ago under mounting pressure. She later moved to Patna where she joined a jewellery shop as a salesperson”.
“Chaudhary began suspecting that she had got entangled with some other man. He may have planned the attack under these circumstances. Once he is caught, a clear picture will emerge”, added the DIG.
Meanwhile, the leader of the Opposition in the Bihar Assembly Vijay Kumar Sinha, who is also the MLA from Lakhisarai, squarely blamed the Nitish Kumar government in the state for the incident.
“The woman’s family had been receiving threats from the attacker for many days. But the local police failed to act. We fear that the administration may try to shield the real culprits and divert the probe in a direction that would suit their political masters”, alleged Sinha.