Three gunmen chased a BJP leader out for a morning walk on the streets of Patna and killed him in the heart of poll-bound Bihar's capital amid the party protesting in the assembly this week over a deteriorating law and order situation.
Authorities say footage from a security camera shows the attackers pursuing Avinash Kumar, a ward leader of the BJP, on foot near his Daldali Road residence. They open fire and he falls to the ground. One of the assailants then walks up to him and shoots him in the head.
All three gunmen were about 20 to 25 years of age, witnesses told police.
"This has happened under the watch of chief minister Nitish Kumar, who also handles the law and order and home portfolio," said BJP leader and former union minister Shahnawaz Hussain. "It keeps on happening day after day right under the nose of the administration, yet the response has been ineffective."
Watch:CCTV footage shows how BJP leader was shot dead in Patna
Hussain joined leader of the opposition in the assembly, Nand Kishore Yadav, former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi and other party leaders at a sit-in near the spot while shops shut down in central Patna as part of a spontaneous bandh.
Bihar, one of the country's poorest and most lawless states, is expected to see assembly polls in two to three months with an avowedly secular alliance of Nitish Kumar's JD(U), former rival Lalu Prasad's RJD and the Congress taking on the BJP that's banking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's popularity.
The BJP had hit the well of the House, both in the state assembly and council on Wednesday, condemning a rash of crimes, forcing adjournment of proceedings.
Two people were reportedly arrested as teams led by Patna senior superintendent of police (SSP) Vikas Vaibhav launched coordinated raids across the city.
"Kumar was supposed to meet me today morning as we were to tour our constituency areas in view of the coming assembly polls. I was waiting for him when news came that he had been shot dead," said local BJP MLA Nitin Navin.
Residents of Daldali Road area too came out on the streets in protest as they burnt tires and blocked roads for a few hours.
(With agency inputs)