'I wanted to hide below my cart, but a bullet hit my leg.'
M I Khan reports for Rediff.com.
More than 18 hours after two gunmen on a motorcycle repeatedly opened fire at several places on national highway 28 in Begusarai in Bihar, the local police have not yet arrested the men who killed one man and wounded 11 others.
Police officers at the state police headquarters in Patna refute reports that it was a mass shooting of the kind that occur in the United States.
The two men on a motorcycle opened fire on those standing by the road at six places on a 20 to 25 km stretch under four police stations between 5 to 6 pm on Tuesday evening.
Bihar Additional General of Police Jitendra Singh Gangwar told the media in Patna that police parties have raided different locations in the district to arrest the killers.
Begusarai Superintendent of Police Yogendra Kumar on Wednesday suspended 7 policemen for alleged negligence during patrolling duty at the time of the shooting.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has reportedly expressed concern over the Begusarai police's failure to apprehend the accused when they were firing on roads in the district for over half an hour.
The government has sounded an alert in seven districts.
According to the district police, two men on a motorcycle arrived at Malhipur Chowk and started firing, which created panic in the area.
Two men were shot at in Malhipur followed by three others shot at near the Barauni thermal power station chowk, two others in Barauni, two others near Teghra block and two others in Bachhwara block.
"It is not known what was their motive to open fire was," says Begusarai Deputy Inspector General of Police Satya Veer Singh, "it will be known only after their arrest."
According to the police, CCTV footage revealed a man, covering his face with a yellow gamcha (a thin cotton towel), riding pillion on the motorcycle with a pistol in his hand. The man riding the motorcycle was wearing a black helmet.
"I was standing near NH 28. I saw two men coming on a motorcycle, they suddenly opened fire and one bullet hit my hand. They moved ahead, firing indiscriminately," says Gautam Kumar, an LPG vendor from hospital.
Jeetu Paswan was selling ice on his hand cart when he suddenly heard firing behind him.
"I wanted to hide below my cart, but a bullet hit my leg. I saw that they shot another man standing a few metres from me," says Paswan, who is undergoing treatment at a hospital.
Angry over the death of 30-year-old Chandan Kumar in the firing, his family blocked roads for hours and demanded compensation.