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JD (U) leader shot dead in Patna

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At least 10 political leaders and activists have been killed in the state over the last five months and raised questions over the law and order situation in Bihar

PATNA: Three unidentified assailants shot dead ruling Janata Dal (United) or JD (U) functionary Deepak Kumar Mehta, 40, outside his residence near Patna’s Nasriganj police outpost on Monday night.

At least 10 political leaders and activists have been killed in the state over the last five months, raising questions over the law-and-order situation in Bihar.

Police said Mehta, who was also the vice president of Danapur Nagar Parishad, was standing at the main gate of his house when the three fired on him from close range around 10.30 pm. Mehta was critically injured and rushed to a hospital where he was declared dead.

The assailants managed to flee. Police said they collected six empty cartridges from the spot and suspect the assailants may have been hired to kill Mehta.

A crowd gathered at the murder scene, blocked a road, disrupted traffic for over five hours demanding immediate arrest of the assailants and the transfer of the police officers from the Danapur police station. Additional police forces were deployed in the area. Mehta’s relative, Priya Ranjan Kumar, blamed political rivalry for the murder. He said Mehta contested the assembly election in 2020 and lost. Mehta and his wife were preparing for the local body elections. Mehta is said to have been a popular leader in Danapur.

Senior police superintendent Manavjit Singh Dhillon said they were looking for the assailants. “The motive behind the incident is yet to be established.” He said they were investigating the matter. “Separate police teams have been deputed to crack the murder case.”

JD (U) leaders including former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha rushed to Mehta’s home to offer their condolences.

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