Samajwadi Party leader Santosh Punem who was abducted yesterday has been killed by Maoists in the insurgency-hit Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh, Wednesday.
Chhattisgarh: Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Santosh Punem who was abducted by Naxals yesterday in Bijapur has been found dead today. Santosh had contested the recently concluded assembly elections in Chhattisgarh from Bijapur on SP ticket. pic.twitter.com/psVqqM8h05
— ANI (@ANI) June 19, 2019
Santosh Punem had contested the recently concluded assembly elections in Chhattisgarh on Samajwadi Party’s ticket from Bijapur. He was also state vice president of Samajwadi Party in Bastar.
Punem, who was also a contractor by profession, was kidnapped from his construction site in Marimalla village, Tuesday, where he had gone to supervise some road work, said the Superintendent of Police, Divyang Patel.
Some locals, this morning, spotted the SP leader’s body lying in a pool of blood at the nearby Marimalla hills and passed on the information to the police who in turn rushed a team of personnel to the spot, which was deep inside a forest, 16 km away from the police station. Reports state that the police team is yet to retrieve the body.
The vehicles on spot, including one Bolero and three trucks, were attacked and set on fire by the Maoists. They have also refused to return the body of the leader to the family when Punem’s wife and brother had arrived to take the body.
The Maoists are reportedly trying to create an entirely new red corridor along the western border of Chhattisgarh. The recent recovery of a Pakistani Army gun from Maoists in Chhattisgarh has also raised the suspicion that the Maoists could be having links with Pakistani terrorists in Kashmir, supported and funded by the Pakistani government.
In a sudden upsurge in the nefarious activities by Naxals in Chhattisgarh, five persons, including a BJP MLA, lost their lives when Naxal terrorists ambushed the convoy of BJP in Dantewada in Bastar region Chhattisgarh in April.
Prior to the assembly election last year, the Maoists had beaten up at least 35 villagers for skipping their meet. They had also put up posters in parts of Bastar and Kankar regions cautioning people to avoid the polls, failing which could lead to mortal danger for them.
Moreover, in a major attack on CRPF jawans by the Naxals in the poll-bound Chhattisgarh, as many as 4 jawans were killed.