Two members of a family were shot dead, and four others injured, as they were returning from a Chhath Puja ceremony in Bihar’s Lakhisarai on Monday. The injured, including two women, were admitted to a local hospital before they were shifted to Patna Medical College and Hospital for more treatment.
Two of the injured are in critical condition, news agency ANI said, quoting Lakhisarai SP Pankaj Kumar as saying, “The matter is related to a love affair.”
Those killed are Chandan Jha and Rajnandan Kumar, both 31 years old.
Police have identified the accused as Ashish Chaudhary and are conducting raids to arrest the accused. They have already recovered the murder weapon. Two other suspects are being questioned.
According to reports, the accused – reportedly from a different caste – was in a relationship with the sister of Chandan Jha and Rajnandan Kumar. The woman, though, was due to marry another man (she had travelled from Patna for the puja and the engagement), Mr Kumar said.
The tragic incident has also taken a (predictable) political turn with the BJP hitting out at the ruling Janata Dal (United)-Rashtriya Janata Dal alliance.
BJP leader Shehzad Poonawalla has slammed Chief Minister Nitish Kumar over a “jungle raj” in Bihar, particularly after he joined hands with the RJD.
#WATCH | Jaipur, Rajasthan: BJP leader Shehzad Poonawalla on Lakhisarai firing incident; says, “In Lakhisarai, when some members of a family were returning after offering Arghya (Chhath Puja ritual), they were shot incessantly and they were attacked without any fear of… pic.twitter.com/T9U1LDFsSo
— ANI (@ANI) November 20, 2023
“In Lakhisarai, when some members of a family were returning after offering puja… they were shot … without fear of law. Since RJD came to power with Nitish, criminals’ dominance has increased… Bihar is turning into Jungle Raj.”
The BJP was in power in Bihar – in an alliance with Nitish Kumar’s JDU till he dumped them in August last year and joined hands with Lalu Yadav’s RJD.
The shooting took place within the Kabaiya Police Station limits.
Visuals shared by ANI showed policemen filing through an impossibly narrow lane between two houses. The video also showed what seem to be armed officers standing outside a house.
The police have appealed for calm as the investigation takes its course.