The Patna police has finally managed to make the first arrest in connection with the sensational murder of IndiGo airline official Rupesh Kumar Singh, 23 days after the crime.

Patna SSP Upendra Sharma said the accused identified as Ritu Raj (29) committed the crime as revenge over a road rage incident involving Rupesh Singh in the last week of November, 2020.

Ritu Raj along with three of his accomplishes executed the murder of Rupesh Singh without knowing his original identity. The accused himself confessed to the crime before the media.

“It was a very complicated case of murder with very few clues. We have scanned over 600 CCTV cameras and DVR to find the accused. Footage was matched before we zeroed in on the accused,” Sharma said.

As per the confession of the accused, he nearly met with an accident on November 29, 2020 at LJP office located near Patna’s Jay Prakash Narayan Airport.

“The accused was taking a u-turn and speeding vehicle of Rupesh Singh came at the same time. The accused claims that he narrowly avoided an accident but the IndiGo official (Rupesh Singh) was involved in a heated exchange of words with him followed by which he also slapped him three to four times,” the SSP said.

Ritu Raj claims that despite his pleas to stop Rupesh thrashed him. Rupesh also wanted to take him to the police but Ritu Raj managed to flee. He did not want to get involved in a police case as he was travelling on a stolen bike.

“Following the incident, the accused remembered the registration number of Rupesh’s vehicle and decided to take revenge for the incident. Ritu Raj was involved in stealing bikes and cars in Patna and his target area was around Rajvanshi Nagar, Vidhan Sabha, Bailey Road. While he was sipping tea at Rajvanshi Nagar Hanuman temple a week after the incident, he spotted the vehicle of Rupesh Singh. (The place was a frequent route between Patna airport and apartment of Rupesh Singh located at Punaichak). The accused followed him but was unable to execute the murder. He confessed that he made three to four attempts to locate the apartment of Rupesh Singh,” Sharma said.

On January 12, the accused along with his three associates on two bikes went to the gate of Rupesh’s apartment. When Rupesh’s SUV reached the gate at 6.58 p.m., all four accused approached his SUV and open fired on Rupesh. Ritu Raj himself claims that he fired at him from close range. Though he doesn’t remember the number of gunshots he fired,” the SSP said.

“I fired from close range till he died on the spot. The idea was to escape from the crime scene as soon as possible,” Ritu Raj said.

“The accused did not know till that night about who he had killed. He got the information about the deceased from the newspaper the next day. He then realised that the person he killed was Rupesh Singh, the station head of IndiGo Airlines and an important person in the city. Ritu Raj escaped to Ranchi by bus on January 13. He stayed there at the railway station, abd other places in the city. He also stayed at his relatives in Ranchi and Patratu. He returned on Monday and we have arrested him on Tuesday,” the SSP claimed.

“The entire process to nab the accused was worked out in around two weeks. When we tracked the registration number of the motorbike of suspect, it was found genuine. We found his photo as well in customer registration form he submitted during purchase of vehicle. That photo of Ritu Raj matched with our CCTV footage. He was sitting as pillion rider on Apache motorcycle during commission of the crime,” Sharma said.

“We have recovered a pistol, four live cartridges, helmet, black jacket and black cap he used in commission of the crime and fake number plate of his Apache bike. We also recovered four Hindi newspapers of January 13 from his house,” Sharma said.

“The accused had changed the number plate of the bike during commission of the crime,” he said.

–IANS

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