The brutal killing of local BJP leader and popular former mayor Sachin Shilke, 38, has shocked the residents of Talegaon, near Pune and forced to police to deploy in heavy numbers to maintain peace.

According to the police, around 10 people waylaid Mr Shilke around noon while he was refuelling his car. They first shot and injured him, and then later attacked him with sharp-edged weapons.

“The assailants asked Mr Shilke to alight from his car, and then fired a round at him and then attacked him with sharp-edged weapons before fleeing,” senior police officer Jai Jadhav said.

“Previous enmity could be the reason behind the murder,” he added.

Footage from a security camera has helped the police identify all 10 attackers, and led the arrest of 4. The attackers are suspected to working for Shyam Dabhade, a local mobster, who is also on the run.

Mr Shilke faced a continued threat to his life after he narrowly escaped a similar attack in 2013. His family members, including his father and brother were also targeted by his political enemies over the years.

In 2010, in a similar incident, RTI activist Satish Shetty was killed while he was on his morning walk.