Maoists shot dead a cousin of Chhattisgarh forest minister Vikram Usendi on Wednesday night at Solangi village in Kanker district, about 200km south of Raipur.
According to the Kanker police, Maoists went to 40-year-old Sumat Usendi’s house late at night and killed him. Sumat was earlier a member of Kanker district panchayat. At present, his wife Urmila Usendi is a member.
After the May 25 attack by Maoists on the Congress convoy at Darbha, Bastar in which 27 people were killed, including Chhattisgarh Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel and senior leader Mahendra Karma, the state home minister Nanki Ram Kanwar had appealed to the political leaders in the state to remain extra vigilant.
The police, however, said there was no apparent threat to Sumat. “We are trying to ascertain the motive behind the killing. The body has been sent for postmortem. Sumat was not on any hit list so we had not provided him with a security cover,” the Kanker superintendent of police Rajendra Das said.
Additional forces have been rushed to Solangi and a search operation has been launched. Vikram Usendi was not available for comments. Maoists wield considerable influence in Kanker, one of the seven districts of Bastar's red zone in south Chhattisgarh.