The Bihar Police on Wednesday claimed to be in the possession of "vital clues" in the murder of IndiGo's airport manager in Patna, which has triggered angry reactions from across the political spectrum. Rupesh Kumar Singh (40) 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.
Taking on the state government, 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.
CCTV footage suggests that the assailants were two in number and rode a motorcycle, police sources said. The assassins, who had their backs towards the CCTV camera situated on an adjacent street, appeared to have been following Singh from the airport, around three km away.
A 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.
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.