Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Sanjeev Singh, the cousin of Dhanbad’s former deputy mayor Neeraj Singh who was gunned down on Tuesday, and five others were booked by police late on Wednesday night in connection with the murder, officials said on Thursday.
Motorcycle-borne assailants intercepted Neeraj’s SUV barely 100 metres from his home on Tuesday and pumped 67 bullets from an AK-47 rifle and pistols into the Congress leader and 3 others, who were with him inside the vehicle.
Neeraj’s youngest brother, Abhishek Singh alias Guddu Singh, named Sanjeev, Jharia’s BJP legislator, and his younger brother Siddhartha Gautam as the killers in the FIR, which was recorded by deputy superintendent of police (DSP) DN Banka and Saraidhela police station in charge Arvind Singh.
“I was there in Kolakusma when I got a phone call that my brother was shot. As I reached the spot, I saw Jainendra Singh alias Pintu was riding a bike and Sanjeev Singh was in the back seat arms hidden in a towel,” Abhishek said in the FIR.
Abhishek also claimed Sanjeev had opened indiscriminate fire on Neeraj who was in the car. “Sanjeev told me that I killed your brother and you will also face the same consequence,” Abhishek claimed in the FIR.
Neeraj’s mother Sarojini Singh too said she had no doubt that Sanjeev was behind her son’s murder. “We will take revenge. It was the conspiracy of Sanjeev Singh to kill my son,” she alleged.
Neeraj, a mechanical engineer, had a bitter political rivalry with Sanjeev. Neeraj had unsuccessfully contested the 2014 Jharkhand assembly election from Jharia constituency on a Congress ticket against Sanjeev.
Police have constituted different teams to search the assailants and a special investigation team of CID was also formed to investigate the murder following the order of Jharkhand chief minister Raghubar Das.
“Police have recorded the statement and filed a case under relevant sections. Further action would be taken in this regard after consulting senior officers,” DSP Banka said.
Congress and other opposition parties have called for a Dhanbad bandh to protest Neeraj’s murder. Congress supporters blocked Dhanbad- Bokaro road near Putki disrupting vehicular movement since early morning.
Long-distance buses remained off roads and schools and business establishment were shut for the second day on Thursday. However, board examinations were conducted as per schedule.
“No untoward has been reported from other parts of the city so far. Additional police forces have been deployed to maintain law and order of the city,” Banka said.
Neeraj is the nephew of Suraj Deo Singh, who is purported to be the inspiration for the iconic movie character Ramadhir Singh played by Tigmanshu Dhulia in Gangs of Wasseypur. Incidentally, Neeraj also has an uncle named Ramadhir Singh, who was convicted in a murder case and is in jail.
Neeraj too was accused in several criminal cases, including murder.
Gang wars have played out in Dhanbad for decades over coal trade and railway contracts. Muslim-dominated Wasseypur in the district is not unaffected by the fight for dominance and has its own set of warring sides.