Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday ordered state police chief that the killers of IndiGo’s airport manager Rupesh Kumar Singh should be arrested at the earliest. Kumar enquired about the latest update from the Director General of police S K Singhal on the high-profile murder case in the state capital the previous evening and issued strict instructions to ensure conviction and harshest punishment to the culprits by conducting speedy trial in the case, an official statement said.
The IndiGo’s airport manager was sprayed with bullets while he was inside his SUV waiting for the gates of his residence in Punaichak locality in the city to open after his return from office on Tuesday evening. The DGP informed the CM that an SIT has been constituted to crack the case, the statement said.
Kumar sternly told the police chief to act tough against the criminals in the killing that has triggered national outrage. The CM, who has taken the murder of the station manager seriously, said he is constantly monitoring the case. Singh (40) was shot dead at the main gate of his apartment under Shastri Nagar police station in the heart of the state capital.
Footage of a CCTV installed on an adjacent street suggest that the assailants were two in number and rode a motorcycle, police sources said. They said that the killers, who had their backs to the CCTV camera as they sped away, appear to have been following Singh from the airport, which is about three km away. Facing widespread criticism, the Bihar police during the day claimed to be in the possession of “vital clues” in the murder case.
Police team reached the airport in the afternoon for investigation. They are expected to study the CCTV footage of the previous day for identifying the attackers. Deputy SP (Sachivalaya) Rajesh Singh Prabhakar, who is part of the Special Investigating Team formed by the zonal IG for cracking the case, told reporters, “We have some vital clues which we would not like to divulge right now. But, we are confident that the culprits would be caught soon.”
The post-mortem report of the deceased was awaited, he added. There was an outpouring of grief for Singh, survived
by wife and two children less than 10 years of age, who was known to be sociable and, by virtue of his job profile, close to many powerful politicians and bureaucrats in the state. The gruesome murder drew strong criticism from the
opposition as well as from many BJP leaders. RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav tweeted, “If Nitish Kumar is not able to control law and order, he should resign.”
Congress national general secretary Tariq Anwar said that the incident is ample proof that Nitish Kumar has lost grip on law and order. Sunil Kumar Pintu, an MP from Kumar’s own party JD(U), said, “Our leader’s commitment to maintaining law and order will bear no fruits until and unless officials concerned pull up their socks”.
BJP Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Thakur said that the state government must hand over the case to the CBI if the police
fails to solve it within five days. Controversial former MP and Jan Adhikar Party chief Pappu Yadav also pointed to Singh’s “high profile connections” and stressed on the need for a thorough inquiry. BJP’s Maharajganj MP Janardan Singh Sigriwal said, “I had pulled some strings for getting Rupesh, whose family has been known to me since long, transferred from Kolkata to Patna. I had never thought of such a tragic end to such a promising life”.
“It is time that laws are amended and provisions made for public execution of perpetrators of crime in order to strike terror in the hearts and minds of hardened criminals,” he said.
Meanwhile, at the paternal residence of the deceased in Saran district, the wails of the bereaved father rent the air.
“After my son came to Patna, I was feeling relieved that upon my death, he would be certainly here in time to lend his shoulder to the bier. What bigger misfortune for a father than to end up doing the same for his offspring,” he said.