Bhubaneswar: Suspected Maoists have abducted a village council chief in Orissa`s Koraput district, police said on Monday.
Four suspected rebels kidnapped Chingu Jani, the sarpanch of Dumuripadar panchayat, when he was standing near a tea stall with other people in Mathiliput village Sunday, a police officer said.
They whisked him away into a waiting Tata Sumo and disappeared, the officer said. The rebels had threatened him in the past as well, accusing him of carrying out anti-people activities, he said.
Police Monday launched a search operation to locate the abducted village leader after it received a written complaint from a witness, he said.
Jani`s abduction comes a day after the rebels killed Babuli Panda, a local leader of the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) at Ramgiri village in Koraput district. Panda was shot dead Saturday.
Koraput, some 500 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, is considered a Maoist stronghold. The rebels have killed at least seven people in different parts of the district in the past one month.