BHOPAL: A Congress-backed middle-aged village sarpanch Najru Bheel was brutally murdered by a mob of over 20 men allegedly led by a ruling BJP leader Suraj Singh Baghel in Gandhwani police station area of tribal-dominated Dhar district on Sunday evening.
According to sub-divisional officer police (SDOP-Manawar) Anand Singh Vaskale, the incident happened in Bhutiapura village close to the sarpanch's house, when the Balwarikala village panchayat sarpanch Najru, aged around 40, was returning home on a motorcycle. Suddenly a mob of around 22 men attacked the sarpanch owing to which he fell from the motorbike. Subsequently, the men led by BJP leader Suraj Singh Baghel and his brother first attacked the sarpanch with stones and later shot multiple arrows into his body to ensure that he died on the spot.
The deceased sarpanch's son Gulab Singh alleged there was a long-standing feud between his father and BJP leader Suraj Singh, particularly owing to the BJP backed candidate's defeat in the sarpanch elections.
Three months back, the BJP leader's brother and supporters had stolen Najru's cow, owing to which there was an altercation between Najru and the BJP leader Suraj Singh Baghel. The matter was later resolved by a tribal panchayat, which had decided in favour of the village sarpanch Najru, owing to which the rivalry between the two had worsened.
Najru's killing is being seen as a major loss to the opposition Congress, as he was a key man of sitting Congress MLA from Gadhwani seat Umang Singhar, particularly owing to organizational skills. "A case of murder has been lodged against 22 men, including the prime accused Suraj Singh and raids are being conducted to arrest the accused," SDOP Manawar added.