3 others also killed; CBI probe recommended
Jamshedpur: Naxalites on Sunday shot dead Jharkhand Mukti Morcha's Lok Sabha MP Sunil Kumar Mahato. Two of his bodyguards and a party colleague were also killed in the attack when they were witnessing a football match organised to mark Holi at a village about 40 km from here.
Jharkhand Home Secretary Sudhir Tripathi said naxalites opened gunfire from close range at 38-year-old Mr. Mahato, who represented Jamshedpur constituency. He was the chief guest at the match at Bakuria in East Singhbhum district.
The lawmaker, who was also the party General Secretary, was killed on the spot, Mr. Tripathi said.
East Singhbhum Superintendent of Police Pankaj Darad said seven bullets were pumped into Mr. Mahato. Two of the MP's bodyguards and the Ghatsila block secretary of JMM, Prabhakar Mahato, also died.
Ghatsila Sub Divisional Officer Ramesh Dubey said that about 15 naxalites came to the venue of the match 10 minutes before its end and moved near the MP under the pretext of garlanding him before opening fire on him and his guards from point blank range.
While Mr. Sunil Kumar Mahatao and his bodyguards died instantly, Mr. Prabhakar Mahato died on way to the Tata Main hospital in Jamshedpur, Mr. Dubey said. The naxalites also torched the MP's vehicle.
JMM bandh today
The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha has called a 12-hour, State-wide bandh on Monday to protest the killings. Chief Minister Madhu Koda reviewed the security scenario in the naxal-affected regions.
A Ranchi report said the Chief Minister has recommended a CBI probe into the incident. On the probable reason behind the killings, the Chief Minister said it indicated the work of naxalites.
On the JMM's bandh, Mr. Koda said, ``Not only JMM, other leaders have also been hurt by the death of Mahato who was a people's representative in the Lok Sabha.''
``But I would appeal to all to observe it (the bandh) in a democratic way.''
Jharkhand Governor Syed Sibtey Razi has summoned the Chief Minister to present a report on Monday regarding "the brutal killing of the Lok Sabha member Sunil Mahato.''
The Governor described the incident of killing as cowardice. PTI