2 Dead, 4 Injured in Love Affair Shooting as Family Returns from Chhath

Patna: 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. Three of the injured are in critical condition, Lakhisarai Superintendent of Police Pankaj Kumar said, adding, “The matter is related to a love affair.” Police have identified the accused as Ashish Chaudhary and are conducting raids to arrest the accused. They have already recovered the murder weapon. “The incident took place in Punjabi Mohalla. Six-seven members of a family were returning from Chhath when Ashish Chaudhary, who used to stay in front of the victim’s house, opened fire. Six people were shot… two are dead.” Those killed are brothers Chandan Jha and Rajnandan Kumar, both 31 years old. According to the police, Chaudhary, who fired from pointblank range, wanted to marry a girl from the victims’ family but did not receive permission. The girl Chaudhary wanted to marry is among the injured, who have been identified as Lovely Kumari, Preeti Kumar, Durga Kumar and Shashi Kumar. Two other suspects are being questioned, SP Pankaj Kumar added. 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. “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.

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