PATNA: The brutal murder of Jharkhand Congress leader Shankar Yadav and his bodyguard in a blast in a Scorpio car in Koderma on February 13 was the fallout of a bitter business rivalry and had no links with the Maoists, police said on Monday after arresting five accused in the case.
Explosives kept in an old, unoccupied auto-rickshaw by the roadside at Chandwara in Koderma district and detonated when Yadav’s car passed by it. The massive blast ripped apart the car in which Yadav, the Koderma district president of Congress, was travelling, killing him and his bodyguard, Krishna Yadav, on the spot. The car’s driver, Dharmendra Yadav, was badly injured and struggling for his life at a hospital.
“Five people involved in the twin murders, including the main conspirator, have been arrested from West Bengal and Karnataka. Four of the five arrested men belong to one family,” said Hazaribagh DIG Bhimsen Tuti. The special investigation team (SIT) formed to probe the case has secured “irrefutable evidence” against the accused, he added.
The murder of Shankar Yadav, 55, was initially believed to be an act of the Maoists, known to be periodically eliminating political leaders in Jharkhand. But the leftwing rebels had said they had no hand in it. The findings by the SIT also erased claims made by certain sections that Yadav might be carrying the explosives in his car.
“Munesh Yadav, the arrested main accused, had been locked in a long-running dispute with the Congress leader over land and ownership of stone crushers. Munesh had also made an unsuccessful bid on Shankar’s life in October last by shooting at him,” said Shivani Tiwari, the SP of Koderma.
A fake registration number was put on the auto-rickshaw by the accused to evade police, but its chassis and engine numbers gave their plan away. Ramdev Yadav, an accused, had bought the second-hand auto-rickshaw from Dhanbad for the purpose of killing the Congress leader, said police.
Shankr Yadav’s murder had sparked a six-hour roadblock in Koderma a day later and a shutdown of the town imposed by Congress on February 15.