Asika: Pratap Chandra Palei, a BJD leader of Odisha’s Ganjam district and husband of Asika NAC councillor Babita Palei, was shot dead by two unidentified miscreants inside a moving bus near Karanjei Chhak last evening.
According to reports, the firing took place at around 8.30 PM when Pratap was on his way to Berhampur from Asika in a private bus.
After sustaining critical bullet injuries, he was rushed to Asika community health centre for primary treatment and later shifted to MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur but succumbed to his injuries midway.
Police suspect that the incident was a fallout of dispute over liquor trading.
According to information, Pratap was a partner of foreign liquor shop near Asika bus stand. A dispute had ensued between him and a particular group of persons over business related matter.
In the recent past, there were several instances of attack attempts on him in Pakalapalli area, from where he hails. Apprehending threat to his life, he had shifted to Berhampur few months ago. However, he used to travel to Asika from Berhampur on regular basis.
Yesterday on the fateful evening, Pratap, after finishing his work at Asika, boarded a bus to return Berhampur. Two youths also boarded the vehicle at Khadabhaga Chhak. Moments later, they came near Pratap and opened fire four rounds of bullets at him.
The miscreants threatened the bus driver to stop the vehicle following which they alighted from it and fled the spot with their associates on bikes.
Police have started investigation into the incident and efforts were on to nab the culprits.