PARADIP: Shops remained closed at Kujang Bazaar on Saturday in protest against the murder of a local liquor trader on Friday night. The trader, Prasant Narayan Das (40), was shot dead by a group of miscreants for refusing liquor and extortion money.
Das hailed from Jaganathpur under Kujang police limits and had opened a liquor shop in the local bazaar. On Friday around 9.30 pm, five persons came to his shop and asked for liquor. However, instead of paying for the bottle, they demanded Das to give it to them for free and also asked for extortion money. When he refused, an altercation ensued between Das and the five persons. Hearing the noise, some locals rushed to the spot and asked the five to leave the shop.
After closing his shop for the day, Das was sitting on a ‘pindi’ in the market, just 100 metres away from the Kujang police station, when two of the five persons came back in a motorcycle and attacked him. When he fell down, they pumped three bullets into him and fled from the spot. Locals rushed him to the Kujang Hospital and he was subsequently, shifted to SCB Medical at Cuttack where doctors declared him brought dead.
Aggrieved at the rising rate of crime in the area, locals staged road blockade at the Cuttack-Paradip State Highway and paralysed vehicular traffic for nearly 20 hours. Local shopkeepers also called for bandh. Subsequently, some of them who identified the two miscreants ransacked their houses at Sandhkuda area.
Das’s brother, Bikram Narayan, lodged FIR against the five persons following which, police arrested one of them on Saturday. Police have not revealed identity of the five on investigation grounds.
Paradip SDPO, Bhabani Shankar Mishra, said the situation is tense but under control and three platoons of police force have been deployed in the Kujang Bazaar to avoid any untoward incident. Efforts are on to nab the rest, he added.