A member of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) Central Committee, Jidan Horo, was shot dead allegedly by unidentified assailants in Khunti district on Friday evening. The Khunti district committee of JMM had given a bandh call for Saturday. The police said nobody has been named in the FIR, but attack by any naxal group was prima facie ruled out.
According to the police, the incident occurred when 47-year-old Horo, and his wife, were going towards their residence on Torpa Road in his Scorpio vehicle. “Around 6.30 pm, he stopped the vehicle near Pipal Chowk in the town, as his wife had to buy something from a shop. At the time, he was at the wheel. Two bikers came there and shot at him from close range. He was rushed to a hospital, where he was declared brought dead. He sustained two gunshot injuries in the head,” Khunti Superintendent of Police Anish Gupta said. He added that, so far, the family has not named anybody. An FIR of murder has been registered.
Following the incident, the Khunti unit of JMM called for bandh on Saturday. Additional police was deployed to maintain calm in the town even as JMM leader Hemant Soren and MLA from Torpa (in Khunti) Poulus Sureen met the family members of the deceased.
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Horo had unsuccessfully contested in the last assembly elections from Khunti (reserved) assembly seat, losing out to Bharatiya Janata Party’s Neelkanth Singh Munda. Currently, Munda is Rural Development Minister of Jharkhand.
Sub-Divisional Police Officer (Khunti) Ranvir Singh said: “So far, there is little evidence to suggest involvement of People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI). We are conducting raids to gather more information. It is possible that a personal enmity or some political tussle may be behind the incident. The matter is being investigated.” Khunti is a naxal-affected district and PLFI is said to have very strong presence there. Its members are often involved in extorting money from various people.
Soren, while meeting the family members of the leader, blamed the state government for failing to control the law and order situation. He alleged that the government was visible only in media and advertisements, while criminals were executing their plans freely.