BERHAMPUR: BJD Councillor of Ward 6 of Chhatrapur NAC Laxmidutta Pradhan was hacked to death by some unidentified persons in the town on Saturday afternoon.Laxmidutta, locally known as Bachan, was sitting on the steps of his house at Suryanagar along with some students when a group of men armed with swords and batons attacked him. Laxmidutta sustained critical injuries on head and arms.
While the students fled instead of resisting the attackers, Laxmidutta's younger brother Debidutta tried to rescue him, but he was also attacked. The Councillor was rushed to Chhatrapur hospital and later, shifted to MKCGMCH where he succumbed to injuries.
While returning, the assailants also attacked Sibasankar Padhy, a close associate of Laxmidutta, who was also admitted to Chhatrapur hospital with multiple injuries.As the tension mounted, Additional SP Pradep Kumar Mohapatra, SDPO Ramesh Sethy along with armed force and scientific team reached the spot. The police seized a blood stained sword, two motorcycles and batons from the spot.While the attackers were not identified till late evening, the police said prime facie the attack is believed to be a fallout of old enmity.
Police said a manhunt has been launched to nab the assailants and armed police deployed at all vulnerable points of Chatrapur to prevent any untoward incident. Meanwhile, the BJD has condoled the death of Laxmidutta and demanded immediate arrest of the culprits.Chhatrapur MLA Dr Priyansu Pradhan and hundreds of Laxmidutta's supporters thronged MKCG hospital as the death of the Councillor spread. Apprehending law and order problem, elaborate police arrangements were made by the local administration at the hospital.
According to sources, the attack could be linked to Chhatrapur College students' union election. Because, earlier in the day, two groups of students had fisticuffs near the college over filing of nominations. While a group of students was discussing with Laxmidutta, another group attacked him, the sources added.
It may be mentioned that Laxmidutta was allegedly involved in the murder of his arch rival Sakura Behera, a CPI leader in 2014. Though initially Laxmidutta did not figure in the list of suspects, later he was arrested by police on direction of the Chhatrapur SDJM who acted on the appeal of CPI leaders. However, Laxmidutta was released on bail. Laxmidutta has also escaped attack thrice in the recent past.