Khurda: Life was thrown out of gear in Khurda on Monday following a six-hour bandh call given by the BJP from 8 am, demanding immediate arrest of the culprit involved in the murder of party’s Khurda Mandal president Manguli Jena the previous night.
The incident took place at around 11 pm when an unidentified person came on a motorcycle and suddenly opened fire on Pradhan near the party office at Nabina Bagh. Following the incident, the party workers rushed him to the district headquarters hospital, where he was declared ‘brought dead’.
Demanding immediate arrest, the BJP leaders and workers staged a dharna in front of the Khurda Town police station at night.
Alleging that the BJD was behind the murder of his party leader, local BJP leader Sudipta Ray said that the ruling party had been trying to unleash a reign of terror in an otherwise peaceful place like Khurda to win the election. “We have been sitting on dharna in front of the Town Police Station since last night, but no senior police officials has so far responded to our demands, which clearly shows that there is a conspiracy by the police and the administration against the BJP,” he added.
Another local BJP leader Kalu Khandayatray said that an unidentified miscreant with a slim physique and wearing a helmet suddenly opened two rounds of fire near the party office at around 11.20 pm. “One of the bullets whizzed past me. In fact, the assailant had targeted me,” he pointed out.
Khurda SP Amulya Kumar Das said investigation is underway to ascertain whether the murder was politically motivated or it was due to an old rivalry. “We have now begun a manhunt to track down the assailant. A special team has been formed to trace the accused and raids are being conducted in several areas of the district,” he informed.
Reacting to the BJP’s allegation, BJD leader and candidate for the Khurda Assembly seat Jyotirindra Nath Mitra claimed that his party was in no way involved in the murder of the BJP leader. “The BJP is trying to launch a vilification campaign against the BJD to gain political mileage,” he added.