M A I N   N E W S

Suspected Maoists gun down BJD MLA

Bhubaneswar, September 24
In the first incident of its kind in Orissa, suspected Maoists today gunned down BJD legislator Jagabandhu Majhi and his security officer and seriously injured another person at a public meeting in Nawarangpur district today.

Thirty-nine-year-old wheel chair-bound Majhi, a tribal leader who represents Umerkote constituency, was attending a public function at Bola village in Naxal-hit Raighar area to distribute land ‘pattas’ to tribals when three gunmen riding a motorcycle opened fire and killed him, Director General of Police Manmohan Praharaj said here.

DIG (southwest range) Soumendra Priyadarshi, who went to the spot after the incident, said Majhi's personal security officer Pinku Patro was killed along with him while one of his supporters Ramnath Ganda was injured.

Majhi, a first-time MLA, had been confined to a wheelchair since he was attacked by unidentified people in 2004.

Though the identity of the assailants is yet to be ascertained, the involvement of Maoists is being suspected as the site is close to Maoist-hit areas of Chhattisgarh, the police said.

Maoists’ involvement is suspected also as the attackers first targeted the PSO and snatched his revolver before firing at the legislator like trained cadres, the police said adding the killers might have fled to Chhattisgarh.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has condemned the killing as 'brutal and savage' and has ordered investigation into the incident by the crime branch of the police.

"I am deeply shocked," said Patnaik who convened a high-level meeting to take stock of the situation after the killing.

The DGP said the incident was being investigated 'from all angles' and possible involvement of Maoists in the killing is also being examined.

Nawarangpur Superintendent of Police Niti Shekhar said the bodies of Majhi and his PSO were taken to Raighar police station and senior police officials have rushed to the spot. Security was tightened in the area. — PTI





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