Two brutal murders shook Cuttack on Sunday morning. Miscreants gunned down secretary of the Sheikh Bazaar Puja Committee Keshab Behera alias Keshia (50) near the puja mandap of his locality. And another person was hacked to death at the opposite end of the city.
Keshab was reportedly followed by bike-borne miscreants at around 8 am when he was driving his scooter. Around four miscreants, following him in two bikes, opened fire from behind. Attacked from close range, Keshab took four bullets, but managed to ride the scooter to a distance and seek help. The miscreants fled the spot taking advantage of the empty Sunday morning road.
Keshab was rushed to SCB Medical College and Hospital and then Ashwini Hospital, where he was declared brought dead. Tension prevailed in Sheikh Bazaar area through the day. Irate locals blocked road at Chandi Chak by burning tyres. Senior police officials, including Commissioner S K Roy, visited the area and assured the people of prompt action. He was killed over past rivalry, Roy told mediapersons. Sources said the killing was carried out due to a running feud over rights to shops inside the Chandi Mandir complex, that are put to auction for fixed terms. Keshab had been taking the shops on lease with the money earned deposited in the account of the Puja mandap. This year though the shops were captured by an opponent group allegedly backed by dreaded gangster Tito, Keshab had been successful in getting the auction annulled and claiming back the rights.
‘’We are exploring all angles in the murder. The culprits would be nabbed soon. Armed police have been deployed in the locality to prevent any eventuality’’, ACP Pradeep Dalei said. Keshab was also the State general secretary of the Utkal Yadav Mahasabha. In another incident, a tractor owner Jaga alias Mahesh Jena was hacked to death at Taladanda canal road near Samrat Cinema in the morning. Jena, who belongs to Kalyan Nagar, reportedly had a quarrel with an autorickshaw driver on Saturday, who threatened to kill him. Mahesh had filed a complaint with the police. This morning, the auto driver allegedly lay in wait for Jena, and pounced on him. Jena died on way to the hospital. Police have taken the auto driver into custody.