Two persons were on Thursday arrested in connection with the hit-and-run case in Dhanbad, which left Judge Uttam Anand dead during his morning jog, a top police officer said.
The arrests were made following the recovery of the three-wheeler involved in the incident, Senior Superintendent of Police, Dhanbad, Sanjiv Kumar, said.
CCTV footages showed that Anand, district and sessions judge-8 of Dhanbad court, was jogging on one side of a fairly wide road at Randhir Verma Chowk early on Wednesday when a heavy auto-rickshaw veered towards him, hit him from behind and fled the scene.
Locals took him to a nearby hospital, where the doctors declared him dead on arrival.
According to sources in the Dhanbad court, Anand, known to be strict judge, had recently declined bail pleas of some gangsters, and the incident could be a fallout of this decision.
"We have arrested two persons, auto driver Lakhan Verma and his helper Rahul Verma, on Thursday morning. Rahul Verma, a resident of Digwadih, Dhanbad, was arrested from a tempo stand, while the other person was held in Giridih," the SSP told PTI.
He also said that the three-wheeler, recovered from Giridih, is registered in a woman's name.
“An FIR was filed in the case after the wife of the 49-year-old deceased judged lodged a complaint with the Dhanbad Police. We are probing the case from all angles, including murder,” Kumar asserted.
Later, during a press meet, the SSP said that a special investigation team (SIT), led by Dhanbad SP R Ramkumar, is trying to find out more details in the case.
Also, a five-member forensic team visited the site of the incident during the day to collect samples necessary for the investigation, he noted.
Meanwhile, Dhanbad Bar Association here claimed that Anand, who hailed from Hazaribag, was “murdered” and demanded a through probe into the incident.
“All lawyers of Dhanbad Bar Association will take out a silent procession on Friday in protest against the murder of Dhanbad judge and demand protection for lawyers from the government,” said its president Amarendra Sahay.
Condemning the incident, Jharkhand Bar Council member Hemant Sikarwa demanded a CBI probe into the case.
Earlier in the day, the Jharkhand High Court ordered an SIT probe into the death of Anand, under the leadership of Additional Director General of Police Sanjay Latkar.
Taking cognizance of a letter filed before the court by the Dhanbad principal district judge in the case, Chief Justice Ravi Ranjan converted it into a writ petition, and ordered the formation of the SIT.
He said Chief Justice of India N V Ramana has spoken to him in the matter, and expressed confidence that a fair investigation will be carried out in the case.
The high court stated it will monitor the probe and sought updates from the SIT from time to time.
If at any point in time it appears to the court that the investigation is not heading in the right direction, then the case will be handed over to the CBI, the chief justice added.