A relative of state forest minister was allegedly shot dead by naxals in the Maoist-hit Kanker district of Chhattisgarh, police said on Thursday.
Sumat Usendi (45), cousin brother of BJP leader and forest minister Vikram Usendi, was gunned down by ultras in Sulangi village under Bhanupratappur region of the district last night, Kanker additional superintendent of police CD Tandon said.
A group of about 20 armed naxalites stormed into the Sulangi village, which is over 200 kms from Raipur, and asked Sumat to come out. When he came out, rebels took him to some distance from the village and killed him, the ASP said.
Soon after getting the news of the incident, security forces were immediately dispatched to the spot, the official said, adding that the body has been recovered.
"The body bears three bullets marks," he said.
Additional forces have been deployed in Sulangi to ensure safety of the relatives of Usendi and efforts are on to nab the attackers, Tandon said.
Sumat had been a member of Koyalibeda Janpad Panchayat in the past and presently his wife is its member.
The naxals have been targeting the leaders of political parties and its workers in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh where Assembly elections are slated to be held by this year end.
In May this year, 29 people, including state Congress unit chief Nandkumar Patel, Mahendra Karma, Uday Mudliyar, senior party leader VC Shukla were killed and 35 others injured when naxals ambushed their convoy in Jiram valley of Darbha region in Bastar.
The NIA (national investigation agency) and a state-formed judicial commission are probing the Jiram valley attack.