Mangla Prasad Pandey, 48, a taxi driver at the Lal Bahadur Shastri airport, who was one of the government witness in the sensational Purulia arms drop case, was found murdered near a railway track in Patna on Monday.
He was missing from the Lal Bahadur Shastri airport from January 4. Mangla Prasad Patel was a native of Saguna under Phulpur police station of Varanasi.
The GRP, Patna, informed Mangla Prasad Patel’s family on Monday over phone about the incident. The GRP had recovered Mangla’s mobile phone and driving license from his pocket.
In the intervening night of December 17 and 18, 1995, a huge consignment of sophisticated arms and ammunition was airdropped over some villages in Purulia district in the state of West Bengal.
An FIR was lodged in Jhalda police station of Purulia district on December 18 under various sections of the IPC.
The Antonov An-26 aircraft, from which arms were dropped, had landed at the Lal Bahadur Airport for refueling on December 17 and had stayed at the airport for about eight hours before taking off. The aircraft had arrived from Karachi.
Mangla Prasad Patel, who was a taxi driver, had ferried all passengers of the infamous aircraft from the airport to a hotel in Varanasi and back to airport.
He was one of the government witness in the sensational Purulia arms drop case.
Kim Davy, the main accused, whose real name is Niels Christian Nielsen, was also among the passengers whom Mangla Prasad Patel had ferried.
Mangla Prasad Patel had given his testimony to the CBI during the investigation of the Purulia arms dropping case.
On January 4, Mangla’s taxi was found parked at a roadside near the Lal Bahadur Shastri airport. Even keys of the vehicle were found inside the car.
It is being suspected that Mangla went with someone he knew and that person was instrumental in Mangla Prasad Patel’s murder.
Mangla Prasad Patel is survived by a son and a daughter, who are married. His son, Sanjay Patel, work in a software firm in Noida.
Mangla was plying taxi at the Lal Bahadur Shastri airport since 1992.