Bhubaneswar, Feb. 12: Dhenkanal police today seized the gun used in the murder of BJP worker Salman Rout from a palm grooves near Badapokhari.
The police had received tips on the whereabouts of the weapon after interrogating the prime accused in the case, Byomkesh Biswal.
Biswal is a jawan of the Odisha State Armed Police. Salman, a taxi driver, was shot at on February 4 night, and he died while undergoing treatment at the Dhenkanal District Headquarters Hospital.
The incident had sparked off tension in the area with irate mob ransacking the house of Biswal and several shops in protest against the murder.
Tension was so high that the district administration had to issue prohibitory orders and deploy armed cops to maintain law and order.
BJP leaders said that their party worker Rout was shot dead at point-blank range by Biswal and his accomplices. They had called the deceased to a secluded place on the pretext of a discussion.
The death triggered protests by BJP workers not only in Dhenkanal, but throughout the state with the party accusing a local minister for the incident.
The BJP observed a strike in Dhenkanal last Monday, while BJP activists staged demonstrations at all sub-divisional headquarters towns.
A BJP delegation had urged the State Election Commission to order an impartial probe into the "political murder", following which the panel had asked the state home department to get the crime branch to probe the incident.
However, the BJP rejected the crime branch inquiry stating that it would not be impartial as politicians of the BJD were "involved in the conspiracy" to kill Rout.
Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan visited Tarabha village on February 8 and spoke to the family members of Rout. Pradhan also demanded a CBI probe into the murder.
BJD leaders, however, rejected the call for a CBI probe, saying that the BJP was unnecessarily trying to politicise the issue.