Former Jharkhand Welfare Minister and state JD (U) legislature party leader, Ramesh Singh Munda, 50, was shot dead by suspected Maoists on Wednesday afternoon while he was participating as chief guest in the Shikshak Samman & Pratibha Samman Samaroh organised at the SS High school, Barihatu, in Bundu block of the state capital. Two bodyguards and a student were also killed in the incident. Several school children were injured in a stampede which followed the firing.
Chief Minister Madhu Koda condemned the incident and sanctioned a CBI inquiry, while the JD-U called for a statewide bandh on Thursday. The area has been cordoned off for a door-to-door search for the marauders. The SP Rural and the officer in-charge of Bundu were removed forthwith.
Ranchi SSP, MS Bhatia said, “The police are still investigating. It is clear that semi-automatic weapons were used. The MLA suffered multiple bullet wounds. However, the identity of the killers was far from being established.” He said he would wait for the full inquiry report as also the autopsy report before making any assessment.
Munda, a two-term MLA from the Tamar assembly constituency, had ceremonially planted the last tree on the school campus located some 3 km west off the Ranchi-Jamshedpur NH-33 just an hour ago before his killing.
DGP VD Ram said, “The incident was unfortunate. However, according to information given by the local police, the legislator had not informed the local police about his participation in the prize distribution ceremony. This might be because the place of occurrence is quite near to the thana area. But the incident could have been averted had the local thana been informed,” Ram opined. Munda, however, had kept the thana informed about his earlier movement made in the Arki and other areas, he said.
The police had issued the list of do’s and don’ts to the legislators after the killing of Jamshedpur MP Sunil Mahto last year.