Police arrested Rakesh Ranjan alias Rocky, the son of Janata Dal (United) MLC Manorama Devi, for the murder of a businessman’s teenage son, at Bodh Gaya in the wee hours of Tuesday.
Gaya district magistrate Kumar Ravi told HT that 21-year-old Rocky was nabbed in an hour-long operation from an asphalt concrete plant belonging to his father, Bindi Yadav, around 4am. Rocky had killed Aditya Sachdeva, 18, in a case of road rage on Saturday evening – an incident that caught the Bihar government on the backfoot and spurred protests from the Opposition.
The accused confessed to killing Sachdeva, Ravi said, adding that the revolver used in the murder has been recovered.
Rocky is believed to have told the police that he intended to fire at a tyre of the Maruti Swift Dzire that Sachdeva and his four friends were trying to escape in, but accidentally shot through its rear windscreen. The bullet hit the businessman’s son, killing him.
However, the accused later contradicted his statement to the police by claiming in a press conference that he didn’t “fire or kill” anybody. Rocky said he had come down from Delhi at his mother’s insistence.
Rocky was reportedly incensed that Sachdeva and his four friends – Nasir, Kaifi, Ankit and Ayush Agarwal – had overtaken his Land Cruiser on the Bodh Gaya-Gaya stretch while returning from a birthday party.
Following this, Rocky chased down the vehicle and – despite their pleas for mercy – roughed up Nasir, who was driving it. It was when the five tried to escape that the lawmaker’s son allegedly shot at the car.
Bihar:JDU MLC Manorama Devi's son Rocky arrested in connection with killing of a youth Aditya (in pic:revolver used) pic.twitter.com/T4lbgjeReB— ANI (@ANI_news) May 10, 2016
The arrest followed a police raid at Manorama Devi’s residence on Monday evening, during which she reportedly provided clues on Rocky’s whereabouts. “The police are also examining Manorama Devi’s role in the whole episode. The police may take action against Devi if they find her guilty of shielding the accused,” Ravi said.
Liquor bottles were also reportedly found at Devi’s residence during the raid, but police are yet to file an FIR in this regard.
The incident spurred large scale protests across the state, with the BJP-led Opposition denouncing the “breakdown of law and order” in the state. While Lok Janshakti Party leader Chirag Paswan termed the shooting as “the return of jungle raj” in Bihar, most shops in Gaya remained shut on Monday as the BJP took out rallies against the state government.
Even Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad condemned the incident, stating that such “acts of arrogance should not be tolerated at any cost”.
Police arrested Bindi and his guard, Rajesh Kumar, on Sunday for allegedly helping Rocky escape. A carbine and 70 rounds of ammunition were also found at their residence.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar had earlier vowed to bring those responsible for Sachdeva’s murder to book. However, he said action would be taken against Devi only if her culpability in the incident was established.