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BJP leader shot in Bengal

Armed assailants shot a BJP leader from Jharkhand in the forehead at Raghunathdih village in Bagmundih police station area of Bengal’s Purulia district, 100km from Jamshedpur, early on Friday.

Anil Chandra Gope (50) was a resident of Tiruldih in Chandil subdivision of Seraikela-Kharsawan district who also had a house in the Bengal village, which is a stone’s throw from the border. The victim had criminal antecedents.

Officer-in-charge of Tiruldih police station Umesh Upadhyay said a felon named Chhadnu Ansari and his associate attacked Gope in a field around 6am when the BJP leader was returning home to Raghunathdih with his son Pradeep.

“Preliminary investigations suggest enmity over a plot of land in the same village as the trigger behind the killing,” the officer said.

Ansari and his henchman had come on a bike, shot dead Gope and fled. “A team from Jharkhand later recovered the escape bike from the area and handed it over to Bagmundi police. The identity of Chhadnu’s associate has not been ascertained although the victim’s son was an eyewitness to the murder,” Upadhyay said.

Tiruldih police said Ansari was wanted in several districts of Jharkhand, including East Singhbhum and Seraikela-Kharsawan, where he is accused of murder and robbery.

The OC said Gope too had a criminal background and was an accused in a murder case.

In 2009, Gope and 12 others had attacked an SUV at Ichagarh and killed four persons who were the supporters of then Ichagarh MLA and JVM leader Malkhan Singh.

The incident took place when JVM supporters were celebrating the victory of Arvind Singh in the 2009 Assembly polls.