BJP leader Surendra Gupta killed in Jharkhand's Palamu: Over a dozen party leaders have been killed in state since 2014

Manmohan Singh | Aug 29, 2018 | 3 min read


By Manmohan Singh

Surendra Gupta, a senior BJP leader in Jharkhand and his daughter were shot dead by four miscreants today in Shahpur area of Chainpur block in Palamu district in Jharkhand.

Gupta was declared dead at arrival at local hospital while his daughter was referred to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Ranchi but died on the way. Gupta was a senior BJP leader from Garhwa district.

More than a dozen BJP leaders have been killed, six of them brutally, since BJP came to power in 2014. The leaders themselves are fearing for their lives in face of increased criminal and political activity of rivals in the state.

According to Police, the suspected killer, Rahul Paswan, was a friend of the driver of slain leader and was having an affair with daughter of Gupta. “He (Rahul) had even visited the house of the leader along with some of his accomplices around one and a half month back but Gupta had refrained to file a police complaint and decided to deal with Paswan on his own,” said Mahtha.

While the motive in this case does not seem political, it reflects poorly on the law and order situation in the BJP ruled state, says political activists.

Last week, Ranjit Singh, JVM leader from Dhanbad was also shot dead which caused a huge uproar against the Raghubar Das government on the issue of prevailing lawlessness in the state. Dhanbad police later found Wasseypur gangs behind the shootout and arrested two shooters from Mumbai. Ranjit was the president of youth wing of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha - key opposition party in Jharkhand.

On March 12, earlier this year, Pankaj Gupta, treasurer of Lohardaga district unit of BJP was shot early in the morning outside an eatery in Nagdi area of state capital. The murder was captured on CCTV which showed how the assailants casually came, put the pistol on the back of Gupta’s head and pulled the trigger despite the place teeming with morning commuters.  

In another incident on July 19, Dheeraj Ram, vice president of SC-ST cell, Doranda zone of ruling BJP was shot dead in wee hours in state capital Ranchi. The incident caused a huge furore among traders and business class in the city and questioned rising lawlessness in the state.

The spate of political killings started soon after the party was voted to power in December 2014. Investigations into most of these cases are going on.

On May 04, 2016, Bhagawat Rout, who was a member of Dumka District Board, was shot dead in broad daylight in Dumka district. The 56-year old, who had quit the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha to join the BJP in 2014, was shot by two motorcycle borne youth and succumbed to his injuries on the spot. Though the police promptly rounded up two suspected persons who were sent to jail, the real trigger for the murder never came out in public domain.

Expressing shock over the killing, Supriyo Bhattacharya, spokesperson, JMM questioned the willpower of BJP government to rein in corruption which has become breeding ground of criminal elements in Jharkhand.

“BJP has become so enamoured with greed that it doesn't even care about the well being of its own leaders anymore in the state. Raghubar Das should pull up his Jharkhand police for failing to protect leaders. What example they are actually presenting in front of common man if their own leaders are not secure” said Bhattacharya.

With inputs from Sudhakar Singh from Palamu

(Manmohan Singh is a Lucknow - based freelance writer and a member of, a pan-India network of grassroots reporters.) 

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