It was just another crowded, peak-hour bus journey for Mumbaikars onboard the No 332 BEST bus on Monday morning.
Until one of the passengers — 25-year-old Rahul Raj — pulled out an iron chain and a gun, attacked the bus conductor, and began indiscriminate firing, yelling he wanted to take revenge on Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray.
Thackeray’s MNS loyalists recently set Mumbai — and other parts of the country— on fire, attacking candidates from other states appearing for a railway examination in Mumbai.
Forty minutes later, the police cordoned off the area and Rahul, who came to the city three days ago from Bihar, was shot dead.
The police stormed the bus after he refused to surrender. Maharashtra’s Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil justified the police action: “If anyone uses bullet, obviously he would get a bullet.”
Political leaders from Bihar, including Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Union ministers Lalu Prasad and Ram Vilas Paswan met the prime minister and demanded a judicial probe. “He was murdered in cold blood,” said Kumar.
(Inputs from Delhi Political Bureau)