Gang wars
The SP stated that the incident appears to be a result of gang rivalry and assured that an investigation is currently underway I Representational Photo: iStock.

Gunmen dressed as kanwariyas shoot Jharkhand gangster near temple

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In Jharkhand’s Dumka district, in the early hours of Friday (July 28), a notorious gangster wanted in at least 30 criminal cases was shot dead near a temple by individuals disguised as kanwariyas, according to the police.

Amarnath Singh, a resident of Jamshedpur, went to Basukinath temple in Dumka along with his family to offer obeisance in the holy month of Shravan when the gunmen shot him from point blank range, they said.

The incident happened near Nandi Chowk around 12.45 am, said Dumka’s Superintendent of Police (SP) Amber Lakra.

Six empty cartridges were found at the spot, he said, adding that the post-mortem would reveal the exact number of bullets he received.

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Around 30-40 criminal cases were pending against Singh, most of which were registered in Jamshedpur, the SP said.

The gunmen are yet to be identified, he said.

They took advantage of the ongoing Shravan Mela and executed their plan by dressing up like kanwariyas, Lakra said.

Millions of devotees, known as kanwariyas, undertake the Kanwar Yatra every year during the month of Shravan to fetch holy water from the Ganga and carry them on their shoulders for kilometres to offer it to Shiva temples. The kanwariyas usually dress in saffron outfits.

“It seems the incident is an outcome of gang rivalry,” the SP said, maintaining that an investigation is underway.

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Almost simultaneously, six members of Singh’s gang were arrested from East Singhbhum district following an encounter with police on National Highway 33 in Ghatsila police station area.

One of those arrested suffered injury in the leg, while some police personnel also sustained minor injuries in the gunfight, officials said.

East Singhbhum’s SSP Prabhat Kumar said “criminals” should mend their ways or face stringent action.

(With agency inputs)

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