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RAIPUR: A BJP functionary was hacked to death by a Maoist hit squad after he left a wedding in Bijapur district of Bastar on Friday night. Tirupati Katla (40) is the eighth BJP functionary to be murdered by Maoists since last year and the first since BJP returned to office last Dec.
Katla, a janpad panchayat member, lived in Bijapur district headquarters. He was returning from a wedding in Toynar village, around 25km from Bijapur and close to Maharashtra border, when he was waylaid by a Maoist ‘action group’. Five to seven assailants hacked him with daggers and axes and fled. Passersby took him to hospital, but Katla couldn’t be saved.
“We are investigating the murder and are hopeful of nabbing the accused very soon. One of Katla’s brothers is with the police and posted at Bijapur,” Bijapur SP Jitendra Kumar Yadav stated.
CM Vishnudeo Sai expressed his condolences, tweeting: “Saddened by the death of Tirupati Katla, convener of BJP cooperative cell of Bijapur, due to the cowardly act of Naxalites. Our fight against Naxalites is at a decisive juncture. Their plans will never be allowed to succeed.”
The pattern of violence against BJP leaders stretches back to early 2023. Three BJP men were murdered in Feb alone. Neelkanth Kakem, the BJP’s divisional head of Awapalli in Bijapur district, was stabbed on Feb 5. Just five days later, Sagar Sahu, deputy chief of BJP’s Narayanpur district unit, was shot dead at his home. On Feb 11, Ramdhar Alami, a resident of Hitameta village, was ambushed and killed while returning from puja in a remote village deep within Abujhmad.


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