Chhattisgarh police, in a significant catch, have arrested the main shooter of Bhartiya Janata Party’s (BJP) former vice president of Kanker disctrict, Asim Rai’s murder. The main shooter, identified as Vikas Talukdar, was arrested from Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra.
Earlier, the Kanker police had nabbed as many as 11 accused in connection with the BJP leader murder, following which the armed supplier involved in the attack, Sonu Sahu was also nabbed by the police from Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh. The police have also recovered three pistols and live cartridges from the possession of the accused.
The murder occurred almost a week ahead of the voting on a no-confidence motion against the incumbent Nagar Panchayat head, Bappa Ganguly, scheduled to be held on January 15.
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According to the reports, the main shooter, Vikas Talukdar, was paid a hefty sum of Rs 7 lakh for the murder of the BJP leader. The police investigation has so far revealed that the murder was planned for political gains and a conspiracy was hatched to kill Asim Rai.
The police have so far arrested as many as 13 accused involved in the attack including two Congressmen Bappa Ganguly and Vikas Paal. The accused in the case are all residents of Kanker district.
— Bansal News (@BansalNewsMPCG) January 12, 2024
Briefing the media about the case, Superintendent of Police (SP), Kanker, Divyanshu Patel, informed them that the conspiracy to kill Asim was initially planned by three main conspirators: Bappa Ganguly, Vikash Paal and Jitendra Vairagi.
The conspirators provided an amount of Rs7 lakh to the shooter, who later bought a country-made pistol for the assault in Rs1 lakh, the rest of the amount was distributed between the accused involved in the assault. A case under section 302, 34 and 120b of the Indian Penal Code and 25, 27 of the Arms Act has been registered against the accused, added SP Kanker.
Further investigation into the case including the possible links of the accused in other cases, are being thoroughly investigated, informed the police further.
It is to be noted that BJP leader Asim Rai was shot dead by two assailants when the former was riding a two-wheeler near the party office in Pakhanjur. Rai was immediately rushed to the Pakhanjur hospital after the assault, where the doctors declared him dead.
The incident sparked a huge outrage among the locals, including the BJP workers, who, while protesting against the murder in large numbers, had demanded swift action from the police. Following the uproar, the police constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) which has now arrested all the accused in the case.
The murder of the BJP leader had also triggered a sharp reaction from the senior leaders of the party, including Chief Minister Vishnu Deo Sai who, while paying tribute to the deceased party men, had vowed to punish the assailants. Earlier, after visiting the home of Asim Rai, Deputy Chief Minister, Vijay Patel had also asserted that those who killed Rai will be brought to justice soon.