Jashobant Parida, the Dhenkanal district youth wing president of the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD), was shot dead by unidentified assailants here on Monday, police said.

Parida sustained bullet injuries on his head and was rushed to the SCB Hospital in Cuttack where doctors declared him dead on arrival.

It appeared to be a planned murder as the assailants were following Parida in a car before waylaying him, said the police. The miscreants intercepted Parida while he was returning home and started firing. He tried to escape but they hurled crude bombs at his vehicle and shot him as he got down, said the police.

The police claimed to have specific leads and said the vehicle used by the assailants had been identified. They said a manhunt had been launched to nab the culprits.