Three days before polls, Maoists kill BJP worker in Bastar

Three days before polls, Maoists kill BJP worker in Bastar

File image for representation

File image for representation
| Photo Credit: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury

Alleged Maoists stabbed to death a Bharatiya Janata Party office bearer in Narayanpur on Saturday, three days before the scheduled date for the first phase of polling in the Assembly election-bound State. 

Ratan Dubey, the poll coordinator for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as well as vice president of its Narayanpur district unit, became the sixth member of the party to be allegedly murdered by Maoists since the beginning of the year. 

According to the police, around 5.30 p.m. on Saturday, Dubey was attacked by suspected members of the Communist Party of India (Maoists) while he was campaigning for the party. 

“On receiving information about the incident, police and security forces were sent to the spot, who reached the spot and took the body of the deceased and left for the district headquarters Narayanpur. Further legal action is being taken,” said Additional Superintendent of Police (Narayanpur) Hemsagar Sidar.  

In Narayanpur, the BJP’s Kedar Kashyap, a former MLA, is up against sitting MLA and Congress leader Chandan Kashyap. The area in the Bastar region is among the sensitive constituencies in the State. 

The incident comes a fortnight after another BJP worker, Birjhu Taram (53), was murdered in Mohla-Manpur-Ambagarh Chowki district, another insurgency-affected area of Chhattisgarh. While the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had given ‘X’ category security cover to two dozen BJP leaders in Bastar till December 31 in the light of the recent murders. Dubey was not among the protectees. 

Reacting to the incident, senior BJP leader and former CM Raman Singh said that the crimes were committed with an intention to influence the outcome of the Assembly polls. State BJP president Arun Sao called the murder a target killing and accused the ruling Congress of nurturing Naxalism. 

“The Congress government has been uprooted from Chhattisgarh, hence the responsibility of creating an atmosphere of fear by promoting violence has been indirectly handed over to the Naxalites,” said Mr. Sao.

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