Locaal Congress leader and former Kodagu ZP Vice-President Iqbal Hassan (46), was shot dead in broad daylight by unidentified assailants at Virajpet town in Kodagu district on Wednesday.
Iqbal was taking his seat for having lunch at a hotel in the busy Gadiyara Kamba area of the town at about 2 pm, when one of the two miscreants who came in a maroon coloured Maruti Alto car shot him in the chest, killing him instantly.
The miscreant reportedly fired another round which hit another person by name Chandrasekhar, a resident of Shivakeri, who was having lunch in the hotel, injuring him on his leg and chest. He was immediately rushed to Virajpet Government Hospital, from where he was shifted to Madikeri Hospital for advanced treatment. The miscreants managed to flee in the car in which they had come.
It is said that Hassan was reportedly involved in a dispute over a property with one Moosa, his neighbour, which had resulted in a clash between the two rival groups a few days ago, with both the groups complaining to the Virajpet Police.
Following the complaint and counter complaint, the Police had summoned both the groups to the Police Station yesterday and had succeeded in making both the groups arrive at a compromise, it is learnt.
The deceased Hassan is survived by wife and two sons aged 15 and 12. On hearing the news, residents of Virajpet town and surrounding areas streamed into the hospital and demanded arrest of the culprits.
Iqbal Hassan, who was associated with the Congress was serving as on office-bearer of the party’s Kodagu District Minority Cell.
He was elected to Kodagu ZP from Kadanur Constituency in Virajpet Taluk and served as ZP Vice-President from July 12, 2000 to March 12, 2002. He had also been ZP incharge-President for some time.
IGP (Southern Range) B.K. Singh, Kodagu SP Varthika Katiyar and other senior officials rushed to the spot. The Police have stepped up security in Virajpet Town following the murder.