Ranchi, March 20: Unidentified men shot Mahendra Mahto (30), Murhu block president of the youth wing of the BJP, Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha, at Korakel village under the Murhu police station area of Khunti district this morning.
His five-year old daughter, Neha Kumari, was a witness to the incident. Her father was taking her to school on his bike when the gunmen intercepted them at about 8.15am. They shot five bullets on Mahto’s head and thighs and escaped the scene.
Some villagers arrived at the spot soon after and took the little girl to her house in Gonalaya, under the same police station area. “Mahto was taken to the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) where doctors declared him brought dead. His family members are in shock,” a locality resident said requesting anonymity.
Doctors at RIMS have sent the body for post-mortem. They found four bullets in his head and one in his leg. “A detailed report is still awaited,” a doctor at the RIMS emergency said requesting anonymity.
Khunti superintendent of police Prabhat Kumar said the reason behind the murder was yet to be ascertained. “We have started investigations. Prima facie, the case appears to be the result of a dispute over some contract work but it is too early to conclude anything,” he added. An FIR could not be lodged in this connection till late evening.
Mahto is survived by his wife and two-year-old son, besides Neha. He was very popular in his locality because of his cordial relationship with one and all. His last rites were performed today and hundreds came to offer their condolences.
BJP workers, joined by local MLA Neelkanth Singh Munda, staged a demonstration, too. They blocked the Khunti-Karra Road near Subhash Chowk for over three hours in the afternoon and demanded compensation.
Sources said Khunti is disturbed due to the presence of People’s Liberation Front of India, an extremist organisation and criminal Jainath Sahu.