January 1, 2016 12:22:36 am
Bihar Police on Thursday arrested three more people in connection with last week’s murder of two engineers working with a Darbhanga road project. Police said the arrested people include Rishi Jha, the main sharpshooter of Santosh Jha gang. However, key suspects Mukesh Pathak and Vikas Jha are still absconding and may have slipped to Nepal.
Sitamarhi SP Hari Prasath and the STF team arrested Rishi and his aides Chhote Thakur and Chunnu Mishra from Runi Saidpur. So far, five people have been arrested in connection with the murders.
STF SP Shivdeep Lande said, “Rishi is an important catch as he is one of the main sharpshooters of Santosh Jha, who runs an extortion syndicate with Mukesh and Vikas. Rishi had demanded Rs 22 lakh from the same construction firm in 2013.” He added they have been on the trail of Mukesh and Vikas to close in on the dreaded North Bihar gang. Rishi is said to be number three in the Santosh Jha gang after Mukesh. “Mukesh would make extortion calls and leave handwritten pamphlets at the crime scene to evoke terror,” said Lande, adding that the syndicate is tech-savvy.
Santosh Jha had broken away from CPI (Maoist) in early 2000 and formed his gang, ‘People’s Liberation Army’, also known as ‘Parshuram Sena’ in Nepal. The gang, however, is taken as a pure criminal gang that demands heavy cuts or levy from road projects. The gang has allegedly killed over a dozen engineers and supervisors in the last one decade.
Santosh Jha, currently lodged in Gaya Jail, hails from Sheohar. One of the five arrested persons in the case, Pintu Laldev, is the brother-in-law of Santosh’s sister and Bahedi block pramukh Munni Devi. Her husband belongs to the village called Gangdah, where the engineers were killed on Saturday.
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