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Monday, Nov 18, 2019

Local BJP leader, wife shot dead in front of their kids in Jharkhand

Khunti district is a Maoist dominated district but police said initial probe did not point to the involvement of the left wing rebels.

india Updated: Oct 21, 2019 06:44 IST
Sanjoy Dey
Sanjoy Dey
Hindustan Times, Ranchi
The men allegedly shot dead a local BJP leader and his wife late Friday evening in Jharkhand’s Khunti district .
The men allegedly shot dead a local BJP leader and his wife late Friday evening in Jharkhand’s Khunti district .(Representative image/REUTERS)

A local BJP leader who was a deputy village headman was shot dead along with his wife in front their children by unknown assailants in Jharkhand’s Maoist dominated Khunti district, around 50 km from the state capital, police said on Sunday.

The man was identified as Sheetal Munda, who was BJP’s booth president at Kudapurti panchayat, and his wife as Maade Hassa.

Assembly elections in Jharkhnd are about to be announced. This is the second incident in past four months in Khunti district. In July, armed assailants in uniforms of PLFI, a Jharkhand-based Maoist faction, had gunned down a local BJP leader, Maagho Mundu, his wife and a son at Hethgoa village under Khunti district.

The incident took place late Friday evening. However, villagers reported it to the police on Saturday morning. Two of the couple’s minor children were at home when they were shot. Munda is survived by two daughters and a son. His elder daughter is a student of Class 11 at Kasturba Gandhi Residential School, Murhu.

“We are investigating the case from all possible angles. So far, we did not find any Maoist link in the case. Anything concrete could be said only after completion of the investigation,” Khunti superintendent of Police Ashutosh Sekhar said. He said a special team has been constituted and the team is working on every detailed inputs.

The children told police there were three miscreants, wearing jeans and T-shirt, swooped down at the house. The miscreants told Munda that he constructed ponds but did not give money to them. “Thereafter, they killed our father,” police quoted the children as saying.

When Munda’s wife screamed, the miscreants also shot her dead, police said.

Villagers said Munda had dug two ponds during his tenure as deputy village head. The miscreants were reportedly seeking a pay off for pond construction. Police are also investigating whether they were demanding a commission or a levy. Only then, it will clear whether Munda was killed by miscreants or Maoists, police said.

Union minister Arjun Munda and other senior BJP leader including rural development minister in Jharkhand government Neelkanth Singh Munda reached postmortem house and expressed grief over the incident.

Arjun Munda said killing of BJP leaders at regular intervals was a matter of big concern. “Administration should arrest the accused immediately and put them behind bars,” he said.