PATNA: A local court in Bihar on Wednesday awarded life imprisonment to ten people, including two dreaded criminals, who were convicted of the daring double murder of two engineers in Darbhanga for extortion in December 2015.
The two criminals – Santosh Jha and Mukesh Pathak – led a crime syndicate that terrorised businessmen in northern Bihar till three years ago. The court of additional district judge (V) Rupesh Deo, who pronounced the sentences, had convicted the duo and eight of their associates on February 26. Four of the total 14 accused were acquitted for want of evidence.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 20,000 each on six convicts while the rest four were asked to pay Rs 15, 000 each.
The two young engineers – Brajesh Kumar Singh and Mukesh Kumar Singh – were shot dead with AK-47 rifles in broad daylight in Darbhanga’s Benipur area on December 26, 2015. They were killed because the road construction company they worked with, Chaddha and Chaddha, had refused to pay a hefty extortion money the criminal gang had demanded.
The twin murders had left Bihar shocked and attracted huge criticism for the Nitish Kumar-led grand alliance government, which had come to power just two months ago.
At the time of the murders, gang leader Santosh Jha was in jail while his associate Mukesh Pathak masterminded the incident, said sources.