The race to the upcoming municipal elections just got bloody. Unknown assailants shot and stabbed Bhiwandi Congress corporator Manoj Mhatre to his death on February 14. Cops have registered a murder case after Mhatre succumbed to his injuries.

A report in this paper stated that the assailants ambushed Mhatre after his driver dropped him off near his home at around 9 pm. The assailants fired two rounds and attacked him with sharp weapons before fleeing the scene.
According to the cops, one of the bullets hit him on his back.

While investigations are on, some sources have claimed that an internal dispute may be the reason for the murder of Mhatre, who is in the construction and infrastructure business.

Maybe the murder is not linked to the upcoming elections, but it’s difficult to overlook how the crime comes barely a few days ahead of the crucial civic polls.

It’s discomfiting to note how cheap human life has become, of late. It is a reflection of the violence festering around us — be it road rage or simple arguments on playgrounds. Even tiffs over parking issues have led to murder in recent times.

This murder has, once again, ripped open the ugly underbelly of elections. The political shenanigans of various parties, the salvos and the rhetoric, were the only aspects that were making headlines until now. There had been no let up in efforts to persuade people to vote. People were urged to be the change they want to see in the world, or in their wards to be precise. This murder punctures this positive vibe.

Trading barbs and accusations is part of the political game. But bloodshed and crimes seem to have become a natural byproduct of the political cauldron.