A former office-bearer of the BJP’s minority cell, who was facing trial in an attempt to murder case, was on Friday afternoon shot dead from a very close range on the premises of a district court in Chhindwara.
Ikhlaq Qureshi was being taken to a courtroom when one Prashant Sahu, who was waiting on the spot with two accomplices, fired three shots at him from a pistol, killing him on the spot. Sahu and Dharmendra Malviya, who was carrying a knife, belong to a gang led by Shiv Sena leader Narendra Patel, police said. The two were immediately held while police are looking for the third accomplice.
Ikhlaq had allegedly attacked Patel on May 17 and was booked for attempt to murder. DIG (Chhindwara Range) G K Pathak said that Ikhlaq faced several criminal cases, including murder and attempts to murder, and the attack was a case of inter-gang rivalry. Tension gripped the town as Ikhlaq’s relatives and some other people gathered outside the district hospital where the body was brought for postmortem. Chhindwara Collector J K Jain said the situation was tense but returned to normal after some time.
BJP MLA from Chhindwara Chaudhary Chandrabhan Singh said that Ikhlaq was expelled from the minority cell after his alleged involvement in the attempt to murder case.