Bihar police on Thursday claimed that Gopalganj-based education clerk Ajai Rai was murdered last month by people involved in fraudulent appointments to teachers’ posts since he had unearthed the fraud. The police claimed breakthrough in the case with the arrest of three suspected criminals including two sharp shooters from Uttar Pradesh.
Police said that two motorcycle borne armed criminals gunned down Ajay at Lakshwar village under Thave police station area in Gopalganj on July 3 when he was on his way to his office. Police had recovered two empty cartridges from the spot.
Those arrested have been identified as Zulfikar-Ali-Bhutto (a resident of Gopalganj), Mohammad Wasir Ansari and Mohammad Shahbaz Alam (both from Deoria district in UP). Police say the killers were hired for Rs 3 lakh by an “education mafia” to eliminate Ajay, who was actively involved in an investigation into recruitment of teachers using fake qualification certificates.
Police said that Zulfikar, a dismissed government teacher, ran a private school and his wife was also a school teacher.
Station house officer of the Thave police station, Vishal Anand, said Zulfikar was recruited as a teacher in 2005 and was subsequently dismissed in 2017 after he was caught with a consignment of banned liquor. He was also involved in the murder of one Umesh Bhagat and in a liquor smuggling case which is registered in Sahjanwa police station of Gorakhpur district in UP.
Gopalganj SP Manoj Tiwari said all the three accused were arrested from Khairtia village under the limits of Mirganj police station. They confessed to their involvement in Ajay’s murder. Wasir and Shahbaz revealed that they were hired by Zulfikar and paid Rs 3 lakh for the contract killing.
Investigations revealed that Ajay was all set to submit a report including evidence against teachers hired fraudulently to the vigilance investigation bureau (VIB) before he was murdered.
Tiwari said Zulfikar was also involved selling fake TET certificates along with his nephew.
“Raids are on to nab those who played a crucial role behind Ajay’s murder”, the senior police officer added.
The VIB is investigating large-scale fraudulent appointments of school teachers done using forged documents. The bureau has registered 337 FIRs involving 903 teachers across the state, of which, services of 639 teachers have been terminated by the department of education.
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