In a shocking incident, a local BJP leader, Manguli Jena was shot dead by unknown assailants last night at Khurda, 25 km away from Bhubaneswar. As per reports, Jena was shot last night near the party office in Khurda.
Late on Sunday night, Jena was reportedly attacked by unknown assailants near the BJP office at Nabina Bag. Three rounds of bullets were fired when Jena was speaking to another party worker near the road. Jena, 52, was killed on the spot.
Kalu Khandayatra, the Khudra BJP’s MLA candidate, who is an eyewitness to the incident, has stated that one of the bullets was also fired at him but he escaped unhurt while Jena was killed. He has stated that the attacker had come in a scooter wearing a helmet and his face was not identifiable.
It is notable here that Khurda assembly comes under the Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha constituency which will go to polls on 23 April. Protesting the incident, Khurda BJP has called for a 6-hour bandh from 8 am to 2 pm in the town.
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Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan has condemned the incident stating elections are about ballots, not bullets. He has also appealed BJP workers to maintain peace. The police have stated that Manguli was taken to hospital but he was declared brought dead. Search for the attackers is on.
Local news reports have stated that Manguli was earlier in BJD and had joined BJP in 2017. There was some enmity between him and some local political leaders.
Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, who also holds the home ministry in the state, has also condemned the incident. In a Tweet, the CM has stated that he has asked the police DG for strong and swift action over the incident.
It is notable here that in recent days, there have been numerous murders and attacks on BJP and RSS leaders. In Jammu and Kashmir, RSS leader Chandrakant Sharma was killed inside a hospital last week by Islamist terrorists. In Dantewada, Chhattisgarh, BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi was killed by Naxals in a powerful IED blast. On Saturday, a 75-year old BJP supporter was also killed by DMK-Congress workers in Tamil Nadu.