A gangster Raju Theth, was shot dead by five men at the main gate of his house in Rajasthan's Sikar district on Saturday, the police said.
Another man identified as Tarachand, who had gone to meet his daughter studying in a coaching institute on Piprali road was also killed under the misconception that he was an aide of Theth.
Theth, who had several criminal cases against him and was on bail, happened to be the rival of the dreaded criminal Anandpal Singh, who was killed in a police encounter in June 2017.
The Director General of Police (DGP) Umesh Mishra said four of the five suspects involved in the murder case had been identified. The situation in Sikar was peaceful and was being monitored, he added.
One CCTV footage surfaced in which the accused were seen present with Theth at the gate of his house.
When the accused went there, a tractor trolley also reached in front of the house and was stranded while the assailants opened fire at Theth.
It was suspected that the tractor driver was also involved in the crime.
In another footage, the accused were seen fleeing after killing Theth.
The police said efforts were being made to trace the suspects. The Haryana and Jhunjhunu borders have been sealed, the police said.
Later in the day, a suspected car was spotted in the Jhunjhunu district. Locals claimed that the occupants of the speeding car opened fire from the vehicle at some labourers who were working to repair a road in order to get the way clear.
The police also initiated a search in the area.
On the other hand, soon after the murder, a person named Rohit Godara, who introduced himself as a member of the Lawrence Bishnoi gang, claimed responsibility on Facebook, saying it was to avenge the killing of Anandpal Singh and Balbir Banuda.
Banuda, a gangster who was a member of the Anandpal gang, was killed in a gang war in Bikaner jail in July 2014 and it was alleged that Theth was behind the murder.
The Facebook post was later deleted.
The murder in broad daylight created an outrage in Sikar where the supporters of Theth forced the market to shut down.
His family members, relatives and locals assembled outside the mortuary and refused to accept the body and demanded the immediate arrest of the accused.
Call for Sikar bandh
The Teja Sena, an organisation of the Jat community, gave a call for Sikar bandh on Sunday, over the killing.
The State police swung into action, put up barricades and sealed borders with Haryana and Punjab. Intense checking of vehicles was being done at the border.
The Rajasthan Police said that it was also in touch with its Haryana and Punjab counterparts.
According to them, Rohit Godara was a hardcore criminal and he and his gang members were active in the Bikaner division.
The Inspector General of Police of Bikaner Omprakash said that intense checking was being done and efforts were being made to identify the location from where the Facebook post was uploaded.
"Godara is a hardcore criminal. During a special campaign against gangsters and criminals, action on several of his gang members was taken,” he said.
Checking in other districts of the Bikaner division — Bikaner, Churu, Hanumangarh and Ganganagar — was also being done.
Meanwhile, the director of the NEET coaching institute announced that it would waive off the girl’s fees.
Free coaching for family members
In a statement, the institute said if any other member of Tarachand’s family wanted to study at their institute, they would be provided free coaching.
Sikar shares its border with Churu, Jhunjhunu, Nagaur, Jaipur and Haryana.
Raju Theth had more than 30 criminal cases against him. He had an old rivalry with the Anandpal Singh gang and had political ambitions, the police said.
The gangster had shifted to Jaipur a year ago and was arrested in a case of land grab and extortion in March. He had started living in a luxurious house in the Swej farm area along with armed bodyguards and other aides.
He would roam around in the area with security personnel. After the police took action against him and mounted pressure, he moved to Sikar, the police said.
BJP targets Congress government over killings
State Congress chief Govind Singh Dotasra condemned the incident and hoped that the police would restore the confidence of the common people by arresting the accused.
The BJP targeted the government over the incident.
“The review of law and order by the chief minister, who is also the home minister, is only limited to clicking photographs. He does not have any concrete action plan to strengthen law and order nor is he concerned about the safety of the people of the state,” BJP state president Satish Poonia tweeted.
He said the chief minister should resign on moral grounds.
Deputy Leader of Opposition Rajendra Rathore said the murder of notorious gangster Raju Theth in Sikar in a gang war raises a question mark on the law and order situation in the state.
He said the Shekhawati area today has become a place of refuge for criminals where gangsters are challenging the police by committing murders openly and confessing it on social media.
Mr. Rathore said the police administration seems helpless.
“On one hand there is open firing, murders, gang wars, extortions and the common people are forced to live under fear and on the other hand the government has left the security of the people to the hands of the criminals and is engaged in the hospitality of Rahul Gandhi and Bharat Jodo Yatra,” Mr. Rathore said.
The Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra is slated to enter Rajasthan from Madhya Pradesh on Sunday evening.