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Maoists kill 9th BJP worker in Chhattisgarh ahead of polls

In the run-up to the Lok Sabha Elections, Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar constituency and adjacent areas have killed at least nine BJP workers. The last such attack on a BJP worker was reported within 48 hours before he constituency goes to polls.

According to reports, BJP’s deputy sarpanch Panchamdas Manikpuri was hacked to death in front of his family on Tuesday, April 16. The Maoists West Bastar division committee claimed responsibility for the attack. 

The assailants broke the door of Panchamdas’ house and barged in at night. He was accused of being a police informer. “He didn’t heed the earlier warning. That is why he was killed in front of his family,” Maoists are reported to have said.

The attack is said to be a retaliation for the Kanker operation, in which at least 29 members of the outlawed group were killed. While the Maoists have named only 27 of their deceased cadre, agencies claim to have also shot dead a dreaded member, Lalitha.

Panchamdas was the ninth local BJP functionary to get killed in Since February 2023. Last year, in the same district, ahead of the Assembly polls, BJP’s district vice-president was hacked to death during campaigning. Earlier, a BJP worker was killed in full public glare. The victim was on his way to attend a wedding.

Since early 2023, BJP workers have been under continuous assault in the region. 

Three BJP men were killed in February. According to reports, BJP’s divisional head of Awapalli in Bijapur district, Neelkanth Kakem was stabbed on February 5, 2023. Five days later, Sagar Sahu, deputy chief of BJP’s Narayanpur district unit was shot dead at his home. On February 11, Ramdhar Alami, a resident of Hitameta village, was ambushed and killed while returning from puja.

On June 21, a former sarpanch in Bijapur, Kaka Arjun was killed. Birjhu Taram, another BJP worker was shot dead on Oct 20. On December 9, party worker Komal Manjhi was axed to death. Four days later, the BJP government was sworn in in Chhattisgarh. 

This post was last modified on April 19, 2024 5:13 am

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