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BJD leader shot dead

Staff Reporter

Tension mounts at Aska


Police deployed to avoid any untoward incident

The assailants came on a motorcycle


BERHAMPUR: A BJD leader, who happened to be a panchayat samiti vice-chairman, was shot dead by some unidentified persons at Aska in Ganjam district, about 40 km from here, on Thursday. It shows the increasing trend of political violence, use of professional killers and gun culture in the district.

The victim, Surendra Mohanty, is also the brother of former MLA of Aska, Debraj Mohanty.

The murder triggered tension at Aska. Supporters of the victim stormed the Aska police station demanding immediate arrest of the culprits. They did not allow the police to take over the body of Mohanty for post-mortem examination. Ganjam Superintendent of Police Nitinjeet Singh had to rush to Aska to pacify the angry mob. He succeeded in his efforts and the body of Mohanty was sent to the MKCG Medical College Hospital in the city amidst tight security for autopsy. Armed police were deployed at Aska to check escalation of tension following the murder.

According to the inspector in charge of Aska police station, B.K. Tripathy, Mohanty was murdered at around 6.15 a.m. while he was reading a newspaper sitting in front of his house at Raghunathpalli area.

According to eye witnesses, the assailants were two youths and came on a bike. They approached Mohanty with each holding two pistol in their hands. They shot at him from close range. As per initial findings, he received at least two bullets on his neck and one on his abdomen. He died on the spot. Although the reason behind the murder is yet to be ascertained, it is suspected that political rivalry is the cause.

Series of killings

It may be noted that on July 5 night, a group of assailants shot at a Congress leader and advocate at Polasara of Ganjam district. He was taken to Visakhapatnam for treatment where he died after three days. The same day in another incident, one Somnath Biswal, 38, of Aska Nuagaon was shot dead near Charimaili square near Aska. Tussle over liquor trading was said to be the reason behind the murder.

In April this year, an NCP leader and cashew trader K. Srinivas Rao was shot dead by hired killers near Chatrapur. In March, two persons were killed at the Dharakote block office in a broad daylight.

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