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The attack on Odisha Health Minister Naba Das at Gandhi chhak in Brajarajnagar of Jharsuguda, which resulted in his death on Sunday, has reminded people of several such attacks on political leaders in Odisha.
Questions are now being raised about the safety of common man when the politicians in Odisha, where crimes against women are already high, getting brutally attacked.
Here, revisit a few attacks on political leaders that shook the state:
Biju Janata Dal (BJD) senior leader and former MLA of Puri, Maheswar Mohanty was attacked in his home town, Puri on February 22, 2014.
Mohanty was returning home after attending a programme that night. It was about 8 pm. Two bike-borne miscreants waylaid him, a few yards away from his house. Before he could understand anything, the miscreants opened fire at him. Luckily the bullet hit his hand and he escaped with minor injuries.
Senior BJD leader Sudam Marndi was once the target of assassins too. The incident occurred on October 13, 2009. Then he was a (Jharkhand Mukti Morcha) JMM leader. He had gone to Bandaba village under Suliapada police limits on the border of Odisha-West Bengal, around 30 kilometres away from Baripada to witness a football match. While he was watching the match, some miscreants suddenly attacked him. It was then alleged that Naxalites were behind the attack. Like Maheswar Mohanty, Marndi too escaped the attacks but three jawans were killed.
While Marndi made it alive in the Naxal attack, BJD MLA Jagabandhu Majhi couldn’t escape the wrath of the Red Rebels. The ultras shot him to death on September 24, 2011.
Majhi was then the Umerkote MLA. On the fateful day, he was distributing land documents among the tribals at Gona village under Raighar block when the incident took place. Some miscreants opened fire at him, leading to his and his PSO Prashant Patra’s death. In 2004, a similar bid was also made on his life. But he had escaped.
Minister for Commerce and Transport Tukuni Sahu’s husband Abhimanyu Sahu was also murdered. Some miscreants hacked him to death on December 15, 2013. He was attacked when he was out on a morning walk at Bandhupal in Titlagarh. The crime was then ascribed to business rivalry. Sahu was a powerful young BJD leader in Titlagarh area.
Similarly, former Congress MLA Dhanurjay Sidhu was also attacked on February 26, 2007. He was then the Champua MLA. Some bike-borne miscreants waylaid him and opened fire at him while he was going somewhere in his own vehicle. However, the leader was lucky enough to escape the attack.
(Reported by OTV Bureau)