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Opium rivalry led to Rau shooting

CUTTHROAT COMPETITION amongst opium powder (doda chura) traders led to the shooting in Rau, on Sunday with a dissatisfied party paying hired assassins to carry out the job.

india Updated: Dec 26, 2006 01:54 IST

CUTTHROAT COMPETITION amongst opium powder (doda chura) traders led to the shooting in Rau, on Sunday with a dissatisfied party paying hired assassins to carry out the job.

The police have come up with some startling dimensions behind the attack on a trader from Mandsaur and focused their investigation on those lines on Monday.

DIG Madhu Kumar took immediate steps as soon as information of the shoot out reached him, he relayed the message across to all concerned police stations, and a heightened alert was sounded but the ensuing roadblock revealed nothing. The two assailants disappeared with their motorcycle.

The attempts of the Rajendra Nagar police in this direction in trying to obtain information from nearby shopkeepers and particularly from those at the mutton shop where the injured Gopal Soni had stopped to make some purchases, resulted in nothing.

In the meantime, Kumar visited Soni after a life saving surgery was performed on him at Choithram Hospital and Research Centre. Soni in his statement has raised suspicion against his business partner Anil Trivedi who has good relations with opiate smuggler Salim Lala which had led to the severing of their ties.

Soni had been attacked earlier and had been provided security cover. He had recently given his guard leave, had come to Indore to make purchases for the wedding of his niece, and was going towards Rau to pay a visit to his relative when the incident occurred.

The Indore police contacted Mandsaur police as soon as Soni’s involvement in the opium trade was brought to light. Local police confirmed that Soni was evaluated with a threat to life and had police protection. It also emerged that there is an ongoing gang war between opium traders in which the Mafioso was playing an active role and the possibility of Salim Lala’s gang being involved could not be ruled out.

Police have reached a conclusion that the shoot-out was the work of trained hired assassins and have learnt that while one of the accused in the last shoot-out on Soni is in jail the other is out on bail and could have either followed Soni from Mandsaur or by knowing his programme laid a trap. The police have come up with names of certain suspects and are on their lookout.