Days before the first phase of polling in Chhattisgarh, a local Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, Ratan Dubey, was murdered on Saturday, 4 November, allegedly by Maoists in Narayanpur district.
According to Bastar Range IG Sundarraj P, the incident occurred at around 5.30 pm when Dubey, who was vice president of the BJP's Narayanpur district unit, was addressing an election rally in Kaushalnar village. He was attacked and killed with a sharp weapon by unknown men, said Sundarraj.
Dubey was a resident of Mahavir Chowk of Narayanpur district. The Maoists had purportedly released a press note, warning them against participating in the elections.
Murder Comes Three Days Before Elections
His death comes three days before the state goes to polls. Dubey's death is the latest among a string of attacks that have been carried out against BJP leaders this year in the state allegedly by Maoists.
Last month, Birju Taram, another BJP leader, was murdered in Mohla Manpur.
Neelkanth Kachem, who was the divisional chief of Awapalli, Bijapur, of the BJP, was murdered on 5 February.
On 10 February, Sagar Sahu, the BJP vice president in Narayanpur, was also murdered.
The chain of violence continued with the murders of Ramdhar Alami, a BJP leader from Dantewada, on 11 February, and Ramji Dodi, another BJP leader from Narayanpur, on 29 March.
This was followed by the murder of Arjun Kaka, who served as the district head of BJP ST Morcha in Bijapur, on 21 June.
Assembly elections are scheduled to be held in Chhattisgarh in two phases – on 7 November and 17 November. Narayanpur is among the 20 Assembly seats on which polls will be held in the first phase.