Agartala: In a shocking incident, a leader of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Tripura, Kripa Ranjan Chakma, was gunned down on Saturday by unidentified gunmen, the police said, adding that a combing operation has been launched to nab the assailants.Also Read - Kerala: LDF Wins 24 Of 42 Seats In Local Body By-Polls, UDF Bags 12

The police said that two to three assailants with arms attacked the house of the 35-year-old BJP leader in Manikpur in Dhalai district in the wee hours of Saturday and shot the tribal leader who died on the spot. Also Read - ‘BJP After All Our Mosques; The Kashmir Files Responsible For Violence In Valley’: Mehbooba Mufti

A large contingent of security forces led by senior officers has launched a search operation in the tribal dominated area to nab the attackers. A local suspect has been detained in connection with the incident. Also Read - Demolitions in Delhi: '80% of Delhi Illegal, Will You Destroy All of It', Arvind Kejriwal to BJP

The BJP has termed the incident as a “political conspiracy” ahead of the elections to the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council, a politically important constitutional body.

“It is very shocking that Kripa Ranjan Chakma has been killed. He was a very pro-active and dedicated person who worked for the welfare and development of the tribals,” BJP spokesman Nabendu Bhattacharjee said.

Chakma was politically active since the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.