Patna, Dec 15 (IANS) A village head (mukhiya) was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Bihar's Aurangabad district, police said Saturday. This is the fourth murder of a mukhiya from Aurangabad in the past few months.
Rajkumar Paswan, village head of Khudwa panchayat, Obra block, Aurangabad, was killed late Friday night while he was returning to his village, a district police official said.
Angry over his killing, Paswan's supporters protested, blocked roads and shouted slogans against the local administration.
In November, Sudesh Kumar Singh, mukhiya of the Karma panchayat in Aurangabad was slain by unidentified people.
In March, Chhotu Kushwaha, mukhiya of the Sonhattu panchayat under the Haspura block was shot dead. Before that, Arif Khan, mukhiya of Obra panchayat, was killed.
In view of the killing of village heads with such frequency, a group of mukhiyas approached the district administration two months ago demanding bodyguards for mukhiyas, a district official said.
Hundreds of elected representatives in rural Bihar have sought bodyguards, citing threats from Maoists, gangsters, criminals and rivals.
Since the panchayat elections were held in Bihar over two years ago, 34 elected heads of panchayats have been killed.
In Bihar, there are 8,442 village body heads, 8,422 sarpanchs, 1,15,542 panchayat members, 11,534 panchayat samiti members and 1,162 zila parishad members.