With the murder of BJP leader Vijay Pandit in Dadri on Saturday sparking off violence that continued for hours, police have put Gautam Budh Nagar district under lockdown. Prohibitory orders have been issued and police have detained four people.
Pandit’s wife Geeta, the chairperson of Dadri nagar panchayat, alleged that her husband’s death was linked to a rivalry between him and local Samajwadi Party leader Narender Bhati. The SP leader denied the allegations.
An important leader of the Dadri BJP unit, Pandit was shot dead by four assailants on Saturday night. Angry supporters of the BJP leader torched at least 16 vehicles on the Dadri road and pelted stones at the police station. At least four police officers, including the inspector of the Dadri police station, were injured in the violence.
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Pandit, 37, was a known name among the trading community, particularly in Dadri, and had been associated with the BJP for almost two decades. He had led various protests against extortionists in the area. “Just a few days back, on his complaint, police arrested few people who were demanding Rs 5 lakh from a trader. They also threatened him but he did not yield,” said Mahesh Sharma, the BJP’s Gautam Budh Nagar MP.
Pandit’s family claims they had also received threats prior to the Lok Sabha polls that he shouldn’t campaign for Sharma, but that police had ignored their complaints. Arvind Kumar, Deputy Superintendent (Dadri), said they were checking this issue. “But first priority for us is to bring those responsible for this heinous crime to justice.”