Samajwadi Party national executive member Chaman Bhati was shot dead by assailants in Dabra village here, triggering protests by villagers who demanded arrest of the killers.

The assailants scaled the boundary wall of the house of 35-year-old Bhati on Wednesday and shot him dead. The attack came on a day when the two gunners provided for his security were on leave, police said on Thursday.

Bhati, who was earlier in the property business, was provided with gunners due to a threat to his life.

Superintendent of Police (Rural), Brijesh Kumar Singh reached the spot and pacified the villagers, who demanded the arrest of the killers before taking the body for post-mortem.

Last year, Bhati’s brother-in-law was shot dead by assailants. Village Pardhan Billoo Singh and his son Billoo Singh were made accused in the case.

Bhati’s family members had then told police that Singh had actually come to kill Bhati but accidentally killed his brother-in-law.

Police suspect that old enmity was the cause of the murder.