Dhenkanal, Jan 3:
In the second attack on a youth leader of the ruling party in the state in the last one month, the president of the Dhenkanal district unit of BJD’s youth wing Yasobanta Parida (42) was shot at and critically injured by two assailants at Kamakshyanagar on Friday evening.
The two assailants pumped three bullets into Parida – one each on his stomach, chest and hand – near his medicine store in the town at about 7.30 pm. He was first rushed to the Dhenkanal district hospital and later shifted to the SCB Medical College hospital in Cuttack after his condition deteriorated.
One of the two fleeing assailants, identified as Suresh Panda (40) of Kujanga , was chased, overpowered and handed over to police by the crowd which gathered at the place after hearing Parida’s shriek, Dhenkanal SP Manoranjan Mohanty said.
“A revolver has been seized from him,” he said.
According to the police, the two assailants had kept watch on Parida, a former chairman of Kamakshya Nagar NAC and present councillor. When Parida went to relieve himself behind his medicine store, Panda fired three rounds of bullets at him and tried to flee with his associate, who was waiting with a bike near Kalpana club, about 100 meters away from the medicine store.
However, the people hearing the firing sound and Parida’s shriek, rushed to the spot and managed to nab Panda and handed him over to local police. The associate managed to flee.
Panda was being interrogated to ascertain the motive behind the incident, Mohanty said.
Dharananda Parida, younger brother of Yashobant Parida, is now chairman of the Kamakshya Nagar NAC.
The attack on Parida was the second such attack on a BJD leader in Odisha after the fatal attack on BJD leader Abhimanyua Sahu at Titlagarh in Bolangir district over a fortnight ago. Like Sahu, Parida too is a serious contender for the BJD ticket from Kamakshyanagar Assembly constituency, leading to speculation that the motive behind the attack may have been political.