Three motorcycle-borne Maoists on Friday shot dead the relative of a Congress leader who launched the Salwa Judum movement in Chhattisgarh's restive Bastar region, police said.
Chhannu Karma, 45, the nephew of senior Congress leader Mahendra Karma, was shot dead in full public view just outside Dantewada town, 380 km from Raipur, while he was on way to the town riding a motor cycle.
Three armed Maoists riding a motorcycle came from behind and fired at Chhannu, who jumped off his motorcycle and tried to flee. The Maoists chased him and pumped three bullets into him. "He succumbed to injuries on the spot," Pawan Deo, deputy inspector general, police headquarters, told IANS.
Police rushed to the spot within half an hour but failed to track down or get any clue about the killers.
The killing has created terror in the district among politicians ahead of the April 16 general polls as the rebels had last month ordered civilians and politicians to stay away from the elections.
Mahendra Karma, who was leader of the opposition in the assembly till November last year, is credited with launching the Salwa Judum civil militia movement in Bastar against the Maoists in June 2005.