Executive Director of Panem Coal Company Limited Dinanath Sharan and another official were shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Pakur on Monday.
The assailants fired at Sharan and the private company's Assistant Mines Manager Sheetal Prasad when they were on a morning stroll around 5.30 am, killing them on the spot, Inspector General of Police Ram Laxman Prasad told a press conference in Pakur.
While one bullet pierced in the chest of Sharan, the gunmen pumped in four bullets and stabbed Sheetal, he said.
Asked whether police suspected Maoist hand behind the killings, Prasad said, "We are not ruling out anything. We are investigating all angles into the killings".
The 81-year-old Sharan joined the company seven years ago and was instrumental in ending a long-standing local dispute related to mine, police said.
Sharan, survived by two sons while his wife died a year ago, had earlier retired as general manager of Rajmahal project of the Eastern Coalfields Limited.