Ranchi, Aug. 28: An Ajsu leader was shot at by two unidentified men near his residence in Simdega district’s Saldega locality last evening.
Santosh Gupta (26), also an RTI activist, is undergoing treatment at Abdur Razzaque Ansari Memorial Hospital, Ormanjhi. Hospital superintendent P.D. Sinha said his condition was stable but critical.
The attack took place around 16 hours after Ajsu district president of Deoghar Mukesh Singh and his aide were lynched by villagers in Jasidih early on Tuesday.
In the Simdega incident, sources said Gupta was attacked around 8pm.
“He was taking his motorbike inside his house when two men shot him from behind and fled, taking advantage of the darkness. Gupta is an RTI activist. He was recently spotted at Sadar Hospital, Simdega, seeking information about appointment of health workers,” said a source.
Simdega SP Asim Vikrant Minz said the assailants had fired one bullet, which hit Gupta’s back. “Local residents rushed him to the nearby Ispat General Hospital, Rourkela, in Odisha. He was referred to the Ormanjhi hospital in the night itself,” the SP added.
Minz, however, could not shed light on the motive behind the attack. “All angles are being probed. As the victim was both an RTI activist and Ajsu leader, we are trying to find out whether someone tried to kill him to settle a score or there are other reasons at play,” he said.
Party spokesperson Deosharan Bhagat condemned the attack, saying that Gupta had been associated with the party for six years and was very active in his area. “At present, he is the Simdega district president of Kisan Morcha, the farmers’ wing of Ajsu,” Bhagat said.
According to him, this was the fourth attack on Ajsu leaders since the formation of the new government under the leadership of Hemant Soren.
“While Gupta was shot at in the evening, Mukesh, the party’s district president and mukhiya of Bargunia panchayat, was lynched at Jasidih in Deoghar in the wee hours,” Bhagat said.
He added earlier on July 24, district secretary of West Singhbhum Jaipal Purthy was shot at Karamdih in Manoharpur. On August 18, panchayat in-charge of the party Kamla Devi was hacked to death at Basia, Gumla district.