BJP’s candidate from the Latehar assembly segment Brajmohan Ram had a narrow escape when the vehicle he was in collided with a coal truck on Friday afternoon, killing two members of his staff.
Ram survived with a fractured left arm and was being treated at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences in Ranchi. His personal assistant and bodyguard were killed, while a driver — the fourth person in the Mahindra Scorpio — suffered multiple injuries.
Ram, former Lok Sabha member from Palamu, was a eleventh-hour candidate, having been asked to contest by the party on the morning of the deadline to submit nomination papers. He replaced Narayan Bhokta, an alleged former Deputy Zonal Commander of banned LWE organisation TSPC, who was discovered to have at least one outstanding arrest warrant against him.
The BJP candidate’s vehicle was on its way from Latehar to Balumath, where Ram was to attend a campaign meeting presided over by Union Minister Jayant Sinha, when the incident happened. He was running 30 minutes late for the three o’clock event. Regional news organisations quoted eyewitness accounts to report that he was speeding when the accident occurred near Makaiyatand village.
Ram later alleged that it was an attempt on his life. “I am sure someone was trying to kill me. I don’t know who exactly,” he said. His supporters blocked the NH-99 for over an hour demanding the arrest of the driver of the truck, who has been absconding after the incident.