A 35-year-old BJP leader and corporator was shot dead by unidentified men at Phulpur in Allahabad on Tuesday evening. Police have booked a Samajwadi Party (SP) leader in this connection. Station House Officer (SHO), Phulpur police station, Avadhesh Pratap Singh said that BJP leader Pawan Kesari left home with his friend Mohammad Arif on a scooter to drop him at his house in Sheikhpur Takia village. Pawan was riding the pillion.
On the way, four youths riding two motorcycles came from behind and one of the bikes hit the scooter. As Arif lost control, he and Pawan fell on the road. Two youths then got down and fired at Pawan from a point-blank range and fled, the SHO said, adding that Pawan suffered gunshot injuries on chest and head.
Arif immediately informed Pawan’s family about the attack and he was rushed to a hospital, where doctors declared him brought dead, the SHO said. Pawan, who was the corporator from Lochanganj ward in Allahabad, is survived by wife and two sons.
The murder triggered protests by locals outside Pawan’s house in Lochanganj locality, who demanded arrest of the assailants.
BJP president of Gangapar region in Allahabad Amar Nath Tiwari said, “Apart from being a corporator, Pawan was also holding the post of BJP’s Yuva Morcha general secretary, Allahabad unit. We did not protest as police have assured us of arresting the assailants soon.”
Circle Officer, Phulpur, Amit Kumar Srivastava said an FIR has been lodged against two of Pawan’s political rivals — Sonu and Pervez Alam, an SP leader, — and two other unidentified persons.
Both Sonu and Pervez have been detained for questioning.
“Pawan’s brother Rohit alleged that the murder was fallout of corporator election rivalry. Pervez had contested corporator election against Pawan and lost,” Srivastava said.
Pawan’s friend Arif and three locals have also been detained for questioning.
SP Allahabad district president Krishna Murti said, “Police have falsely implicated Pervez Alam in the case. Pervez is an old Samajwadi Party worker and the deceased’s family has deliberately named him in the case. We will raise the issue of falsely implicating Pervez in the case with senior police officials of Allahabad.”