An college student was shot dead and his father injured in Manipur’s Thoubal district in poll-related violence on Wednesday, reported PTI. Assembly elections will be held in the state early next year.

Superintendent of Police H Jogeshchandra told reporters that around 1 pm on Wednesday, few unidentified masked gunmen barged into the home of the student, Ningthoujam Rohit, and tried to abduct his elder brother. Rohit’s brother had been involved in an altercation between two political parties, the police officer said.

Jogeshchandra said that as Rohit and his father, Ningthoujam Premchandra, tried to stop the gunmen, they opened fire at them. Rohit, a student of Thoubal College, died on his way to a hospital. Premchandra has been admitted to the hospital, reported The Indian Express.

In a police complaint, Ningthoujam Roshan, the brother of the deceased, alleged that Rohit and his father were shot at by a man named Thokchom Putro Singh. Roshan also named five other people who had allegedly accompanied Singh.

“This is a dastardly and cowardly act,” Rohit’s aunt told EastMojo. “We will not let this matter rest until the criminals are booked. This is not a fair political campaign, but a murderous one.”

The police said that they have filed a first information report and were trying to identify the identities of the assailants.

Incidents of pre-poll violence have risen in the Heirok Assembly constituency, where the deceased lived, in the past few months, according to EastMojo. Several houses have been vandalised, women assaulted and a journalist beaten up.

Family members and neighbours of the deceased told EastMojo the altercation, in which Rohit’s brother was involved took place at Heirok Bazar area on Tuesday. They alleged that Bharatiya Janata Party workers threw stones at a newly-set up office of the Congress. Later, members of the two parties clashed.

Unidentified officials told The Indian Express that a 30-year-old man identified as Khundongbam Rakesh sustained a bullet injury in the clash.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, residents of Heirok held a sit-in demonstration and a rally to protest the killing. The police and the Border Security Forces deployed personnel to maintain law and order in the area.