‘Murder plot of Janata Dal Rashtravadi’s Sheohar candidate hatched in Tihar jail’: Police

The conspiracy to kill Sheohar assembly candidate Srinarayan Singh of Janata Dal Rashtravadi party was hatched in Tihar Central jail, police said on Friday.

Police claimed that the killing was the result of a gang war. Santosh Jha’s gang has taken the responsibility of Singh’s death. Seven criminals on three motorbikes gunned down two people, including Singh while he was campaigning in Bihar’s Sheohar assembly constituency on October 24 after which one of the attackers was lynched by the slain leader’s supporters.

Investigations have revealed that the plan to murder the leader was chalked out by Vikash Jha alias Kalia, a gangster lodged in Tihar Jail. Vikash is a close associate of dreaded gangster Santosh Jha who was serving a life term for the murder of two engineers and facing trial in 20 criminal cases and was shot dead in Sitamarhi’s court on August 28, 2018.

Two of the shooters were arrested late on Thursday night and the police recovered two pistols, eight live cartridges and three motorcycles used in the crime.

Sheohar Superintendent of Police Santosh Kumar said that the preliminary investigation suggested that following the murder of dreaded gangster, Vikash took all the command in his hand and gave directions to eliminate Singh. He hired seven criminals, including Gauri Shankar Maharaaj alias Kisan Jha, Niraj Pathak alias Chinese, Babu Saheb Jha, Purshottam Kumar Mishra and three others.

The gang members continuously recce Singh’s movement and were staying in Patna to eliminate him at a political party’s office when he was roaming about for party tickets. During the interrogation, they confessed that Vikash frequently got in touch with them through WhatsApp call for three months.

When Singh filed nomination, the arrested criminals tried to kill him but due to heavy deployment of police forces, they changed their plan. Finally, the assailants fired on him when he, along with supporters, were returning from Hathsar village after campaigning for the elections. Singh, along with Santosh Kumar Mahto and Alok Ranjan Mahto, received bullet injuries. Singh and Santosh died during the treatment while Ranjan is said to be out of danger.

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The police said that on the fateful day, Gaurishankar Jha was beaten to death by a mob while Niraj Pathak was caught with firearms. The Sheohar SP constituted an SIT under the supervision of sub-divisional police officer to nab the accused at the earliest.

The SP said that Vikash Jha is also made the prime accused in the double murder case and raids are on to nab three more culprits. Singh, who was earlier with the RJD, was facing 30 criminal cases.

He was contesting as a candidate of the Janta Dal (Rashtravadi), which is part of the Upendra Kushwaha-led alliance that has Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM and Mayawati’s BSP as members.

Bihar’s Sheohar assembly segment is witnessing a keen contest between sitting JD(U) MLA Sharfuddin and RJD candidate Chetan Anand Singh, son of jailed former MP Anand Mohan.

Vikash Jha alias Kalia, serving life term in the sensational double murder of two engineers in Darbhanga, escaped from the prisoners’ ward of Jawahar Lal Nehru Medical College and Hospital (JLNMCH) in Bhagalpur on August 18. Earlier he had escaped twice from remand home and Sitamarahi judicial custody. The STF managed to arrest him from Nangloi area of National Capital on October 18, 2019 and the police recovered a pistol and seven live cartridges from his possession.

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