PATNA: A fruit trader was allegedly killed and a former ward councillor injured when an RJD functionary, Sikandar Singh alias Sikandar Kushwaha, opened fire in Gopalganj district on Friday night. Police arrested the accused on Saturday and recovered a licensed rifle and seven live cartridges from his possession.
The incident took place around 9pm on Friday when Sikandar, a block-level functionary of the RJD, had an altercation with his younger brother, Satyendra Kushwaha, over separate passages to their houses at Nonia Toli under the town police station area of the district headquarters town. An infuriated Sikandar took out his licensed rifle and shot at Satyendra. The bullet hit him and a passer-by, Raj Kumar, who fell unconscious on the road. The two were rushed to the sadar hospital.
While Satyendra, who is a former ward councillor, was referred to a hospital in Gorakhpur for treatment, Raj succumbed to his injuries. He lived at Nonia Toli in Gopalganj town and was a wholesale fruit trader. His cousin, Rohit, who was an eye witness to the incident, told police that Sikandar had fired at his brother, but the bullet also hit Raj.
According to Gopalganj SDPO Naresh Paswan, Sikandar was arrested and later produced in court, which remanded him to 14-day judicial custody. “The seized rifle will be sent to the state forensic science laboratory for ballistics examination,” he told this newspaper over phone.
Satyendra, however, claimed that he was shot at by his brother for raising his voice against the latter’s involvement in bootlegging. “But he has not mentioned about Sikandar’s links with liquor traders in the FIR lodged with the town police station,” SP Manoj Tiwari said.
Meanwhile, the fruit trader’s father Raju Mahto alias Raju Kushwaha demanded that the accused should be hanged to death. “Raj was the sole breadwinner of the family. His murder has virtually brought us to the brink of starvation,” he lamented.