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The Inside Story
Class 8 student gunned down in Lucknow
Lucknow: In a shocking incident, a student of Class 8 was shot dead by two unidentified gunmen late Wednesday, police said. The gunmen barged into a house in Indiranagar and shot Maaz Ahmad three times, hitting him in the chest and shoulder. The boy was rushed to a trauma centre, where he was declared dead.

Prima facie, police said this appeared to be a case of either mistaken identity or some family animosity. The 14-year-old Maaz lived with his two brothers, Faizan and Arzaan, at the house of his aunt Husna Bano at Faridinagar in Indiranagar. He was watching TV with the family when the gunmen knocked at the door.

As Faizan opened the door, the two men forced their entry into the house and sprayed Maaz with bullets. The shocked family was only able to come to its senses and raise an alarm after the gunmen made away. Husna Bano told policemen that quite likely, her sons Nadeem and Adeeb were the real targets of the deadly attack; her nephew was probably shot by mistake.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) J. Ravender Gaur told IANS: 'This appears like a case of mistaken identity. Killing such a young boy defies logic.' He added, however, that police were investigating all angles. A team of the crime branch has been put on the case, and a breakthrough is expected soon, Gaur said.

The deceased hailed from Allahabad. He had been living with his aunt for 10 years. Police has upped security in the area, and a manhunt has been launched to nab the culprits.

Maaz murder case: Another shooter held
LUCKNOW: Another shooter Bunty, named in the Maaz murder case was arrested by police late Friday. The accused Ajeet Yadav alias Bunty, a hardcore criminal, is also suspected to have been involved in the murder case of Satish Singh, cousin of mafia Brijesh Singh who was shot dead at Chaubepur in Varanasi on July 3.

Bunty's custody had been sought by district police for questioning into the Sanjay Rai case. Former inspector of Lucknow crime branch Rai's services were dismissed after his name figured in the killing of the boy. According to police theory, Rai had hired a group of six shooters to execute the killing to win back his estranged lover.

Bunty was picked up by Mau police on Friday and was being brought to the city on transit remand. A 9mm pistol had been recovered from his possession, confirmed R K Singh, additional superintendent of police (crime branch). Elaborating about Bunty's involvement in the said case, Singh said that Bunty and Rai had a heated argument over the killing. "The shooters were asked to shoot down real brother of Rai's estranged female friend. But they shot her cousin (victim in the case) by mistake," revealed Singh. Rai still has to be traced by police. Victim was shot dead on the night of May 29 at Faridinagar area in Indiranagar.

Sanjay Rai denies role in 14-year-old Maaz's murder
LUCKNOW: The dismissed inspector Sanjay Rai was sent back to jail on Sunday evening at the end of the three-day police remand. According to cops who grilled him for the past three days, Rai made some startling revelations denying his role in the murder of the 14-year-old boy Maaz.

Though the entire process was recorded on camera, barring a few hours, legal experts say the version submitted by district police before chief judicial magistrate would be most likely challenged by lawyers defending Rai. Nevertheless, sleuths revealed that Rai accepted having been in contact with the killers around the time of the incident. He, however, evaded direct questions about the murder case.

Maaz murder case: Now, Rai’s lady love on police radar
LUCKNOW: The lady love of absconding police inspector Sanjai Rai is also on the police radar in the murder of her 13-year-old cousin Maaz. The police are not only probing her role in the boy’s murder but have also reopened an old murder case in which the woman was named three years ago but was later given a clean chit.

Maaz, a Class 8 student, was living with the girl’s family in Indira Nagar and was killed when four assailants shot him after barging into the house on May 29. After the arrest of encounter specialist Sanjay Rai’s aide Ram Babu and two contract killers, the police on Sunday claimed that the inspector masterminded the killing because he wanted to implicate a man named Aqmal, who was getting uncomfortably close to the girl he loved.
The police team probing the case initially denied that the girl herself had any involvement in the crime but further probe has raised suspicions about her. The cops now suspect she may also have known of the plot beforehand.
Earlier, police claimed that the shooters were sent to the girl’s house with instructions to kill any member of her family and Maaz unfortunately became their target. However, further investigation suggests the assailants intentionally targeted Maaz and not her two real brothers who opened the door. The assailants shot Maaz, who was watching television inside the room, after barging into the house. Cops first came to suspect the girl’s role in the murder, as she never mentioned Rai’s before the three arrests on Sunday. Instead, she always dropped the name of Aqmal, whom she reportedly wanted to get rid of, in connection with the murder.

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