M A I N   N E W S

Raj takes on Raj, shot dead in Mumbai bus
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, October 27
The Mumbai police today shot and killed a gunman who claimed to be from Bihar and who wanted to "pass a message" to Maharashtra Navnirman Sena president Raj Thackeray.

The incident happened early morning aboard a double-decker BEST bus on route 332 plying between Kurla and Andheri railway station.

According to the police, the man, identified as Rahul Raj, 23, boarded the upper deck of the bus at the Bailbazar stop near the starting point and pulled a gun on the conductor. The gunman is also said to have fired some rounds in the air even as the passengers and the driver of the vehicle fled.

According to some reports, the gunman tied up the conductor at gunpoint and demanded that he be taken to MNS leader Raj Thackeray for whom he had a "message". But the second conductor on the lower deck of the bus rushed to a police station nearby and alerted the police.

BEST General Manager Uttam Khobragade later told reporters that the gunman shouted at passengers that he had come from Patna with a "message" for Raj Thackeray.

Police personnel and television crews rushed to the scene and recorded the gunman running up and down the bus. When asked to surrender, he fired a couple of rounds at the police.

The gunman was seriously injured when a police team led by assistant commissioner of police Mohammad Javed fired back. A bullet went through his eye and another pierced his heart. He was declared dead at the hospital.

Another person is being treated in hospital after being injured in the cross-fire, police said. His name has been given as Manoj Bhagat.




Dad refuses to buy pistol story
Sanjay Singh
Tribune News Service

Policemen question passengers of the  BEST bus, which Rahul Raj allegedly try to hijack in a Mumbai suburb on Monday.
Policemen question passengers of the BEST bus, which Rahul Raj allegedly try to hijack in a Mumbai suburb on Monday. — PTI photo

Patna, October 27
Rahul’s father Kundan Pratap Singh, a middle-class businessman, is finding it hard to believe that his son was carrying a pistol. “From where can he get a pistol?” he said. He was aghast to hear that his son, a diploma holder technician in radiology, was branded a ‘terrorist’ and shot dead.

Rahul’s friends here are also not ready to buy the story of the Mumbai police. Like his parents, they too have demanded a probe into the incident by the CBI.

Patna SSP Amit Kumar, who had gone to meet Rahul’s parents along with the DM, categorically said that Rahul did not have any criminal antecedence. The incident, just before Diwali, has put the state administration in a tizzy. Apprehending another bout of backlash, when the body of Rahul arrives here from Mumbai in the next couple of days, the state government has put all its law enforcing agencies on high alert. The security has been tightened at Patna Junction railway station and other important stations.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has charged the Mumbai police with using “excessive force” against Rahul. He has directed the IG, CID, to rush to Mumbai and collect the facts pertaining to this incident.

Rahul’s father informed mediapersons that his son had left Patna for Mumbai on October 24 in search of a job. After reaching Mumbai, he had called him up from a public booth saying that he had reached safely and had checked into a small hotel. That was the last call he had received from his son.

Efforts too were on by all political parties in Bihar to restore normalcy in the state in the aftermath of the violent agitation after the Mumbai police gunned down Rahul Raj today.



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