Berhampur, Jan 21: A supporter of the ruling BJD has been shot dead by unidentified assailants in Odisha's Ganjam district, police said on Thursday.

The incident took place in Sumandal village in Kodala police station area on Wednesday when the former chairperson of Beguniapada Panchayat Samiti, 52-year-old Debaraj Sahu, was drinking tea at a stall, a police officer said.

The three assailants, who came in a car, shot Sahu at a close range and fled the spot, he said. Sahu was taken to Sumandal hospital where doctors declared him dead, the officer said. Some empty cartridge shells have been seized from the spot, he said. BJP Leader Rajesh Jha Shot Dead by 2 Bike-Borne Men in Patna During His Morning Walk Today.

Teams comprising two SDPOs and inspectors-in-charge of four police stations have been formed to nab the accused persons, Ganjam Superintendent of Police Brijesh Rai said. Patrolling has been intensified in the area, he said.

The exact reason behind the killing is yet to be ascertained but it might be due to old enmity, police sources said.