A 35-year-old manager of a hotel in the heart of Hazaribagh town was found murdered on Wednesday morning.
Manoj Prasad Kushwaha, alias Manoj Verma, the manager of Hotel Mahajan Palace on Bhagat Singh Chowk, was discovered in a pool of blood by his employees in the room he lived in on the premises around 8.30am on Wednesday. The hotel is located barely 500 metres from Sadar police station.
According to police, the discovery of liquor bottles from the crime spot suggested that the victim had been partying with some other people in his room and was killed sometime late on Tuesday night. DSP Satish Chandra Jha said they were close to cracking the case.
Sources said the manager lived in room No. 102. When he failed to come out till 8am, the staff entered the room, only to find Verma dead on the floor. The Sadar police were informed. Initial investigations revealed that Verma was first strangled and then hit on the head with a hard object.
Police were informed that two persons known to Verma had been staying in the hotel for three days. With the two missing now, their role in the murder is suspected. The killers had even torn off pages from the hotel register which contained their details like name and address. The hotel staff also confirmed that a third person had joined Verma and the others on Tuesday evening.
The hotel staff were unable to say if Verma had any enmity with anyone. A resident of Khambwa Amnari village in Tatijharia block, 35km from Hazaribagh, Verma started working at the hotel five years ago.
While the family expressed shock over the murder, those close to the victim called for thorough investigations. Verma completed his intermediate from St Columba's College.
Jha said the case was being probed from every angle and would be solved soon. He added that the finger of suspicion was on the three men the manager was seen last with. Superintendent of police Manoj Kaushik also said it appeared Verma knew his killers.
The body has been sent for post-mortem to Hazaribagh Sadar Hospital.