NCP leader shot dead by Naxals

A 43-year-old NCP leader was shot dead allegedly by five armed Naxalites in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra, police said on Saturday.

Kewal Atkamwar, a former ZP member in the district was attacked on Friday night when he was sitting with a friend in front of his brother's shop at main square in Etapalli taluka, they said.

The Maoists pumped five bullets from almost close range and fled from the scene.

Two others -- Prashant Kukulwar and Laxminarayan Parvatlawar -- who were sitting along with the deceased, sustained bullet injuries and were rushed to Gadchiroli civil Hospital for treatment. Parvatalawar was later referred to Chandrapur civil Hospital, police added.

Atkamwar was vice-president of Gadchiroli unit of NCP and was a close aide of former Minister and tribal NCP leader Dharamrao Baba Atram.

This is the second political killing within three months. Naxals had earlier killed one Bahadur Shah Alam, president of Bhamragarh Taluka Congress Committee.

Maharashtra Home Minister R.R. Patil who is now the guardian minister of the Naxal affected district is also from NCP.

Meanwhile, in Gondia, a group of 50-60 armed naxalites set ablaze four tractors laden with wooden logs, in a forest range near Umarpayli–Pokhardongri road on Friday.

According to authorities, the work to shift the fire wood from forests to Arjuni Morgaon depot was on and seven trucks were hired for this purpose.

The Naxals poured petrol on four of them and set them on fire. They destroyed fuel tanks of the rest.

The outlaws also laid siege to the area till the tractors were completely burnt.

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