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BJP worker main accused in BJD leader’s murder, say Odisha police

Police say the main accused planned the murder of the BJD councillor to avenge the killing of a former colleague in the CPI.

india Updated: Sep 22, 2017 22:32 IST
Debabrata Mohanty
Debabrata Mohanty
Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar
Odisha Police,Political murder,BJD councillor
Odisha Police with the eight men arrested for the murder of a BJD councillor in Chhatrapur Notified Area Council in Ganjam district. (HT PHOTO)

The Odisha police arrested eight people on Friday and identified the main conspirator, a BJP worker who allegedly planned the murder of a BJD leader last week.

Laxmidatta Pradhan, BJD councillor of Chhatrapur Notified Area Council in Ganjam district, 150 km south of Bhubaneswar was hacked to death by a group of miscreants on September 16 just outside his home. Pradhan’s brother was also critically injured in the attack. The councillor who was in his mid-30s, was rushed to a hospital but succumbed to his injuries.

Ganjam superintendent of police Ashish Singh who led the investigation into the murder said the conspiracy was hatched by Krishna Nayak, who joined BJP three months ago.

“Nayak, a close associate of late CPI leader Sakura Behera, was looking for ways to avenge the murder of Behera in 2014. Pradhan was one of the suspects in the murder of the CPI leader,” the SP said.

Police said Nayak along with his associates had joined BJP three months ago and they were waiting for an opportunity to settle scores with Pradhan. The nomination for Chhatrapur college student union election provided them with an opportunity to execute the plan.

Nayak who is around 35 years old, is yet to be arrested. Police seized a sword, a broken wooden baton, a plastic pipe allegedly used by his associates in the murder.

This year, there have been at least three cases of political murders involving BJD and BJP. Abhimanyu Das, a BJP leader in Jajpur district was allegedly killed in a bomb attack at the behest of his BJD rivals during this year’s panchayat polls. Salman Rout, another BJP worker of Dhenkanal district, was shot dead during the panchayat polls by Byomkesh Biswal, an OSAP Jawan and a BJD sympathiser over posters. In Hinjili, chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s constituency in Ganjam district, BJP youth leader Chitrasen Jena was allegedly killed by Biju Janta Dal rivals during panchayat polls.

First Published: Sep 22, 2017 22:32 IST