The state police chief has ordered a high-level probe into the killing. “Singh was shot dead by unidentified gunmen when he was on a morning walk near his residence,” a police official said.
Soon after the news of Singh’s killing spread, angry supporters attacked police vans, dairy vehicles and government offices in Ara. The circuit house in the town was set on fire and nearly a dozen vehicles, including a bus, were torched by protestors, the official said. Top district officials, including the superintendent of police, who reached the spot to assess and check the situation, were chased away by the protestors, the official added.
After much persuasion by top police officials and some ruling party leaders, the supporters allowed police to take Singh’s body for an autopsy and blocked roads, demanding arrest of the culprits behind his killing, the official said. A police official in Ara said, “An indefinite curfew has been imposed in view of a large-scale arson in the town.” According to officials at police headquarters in Patna, a red alert has been sounded across the state and top officials were asked to keep close vigil in Jehanabad, Arwal, Aurangabad and Gaya districts. These four districts were the strongholds of Ranvir Sena and its rivals — outlawed Maoist groups and the Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist) — till early 2000.
The district administration has deployed security forces in Ara town. Shops and markets in neighbouring districts, known as a stronghold of the Ranvir Sena, remained shut to protest the Sena chief’s killing.