Three persons were beaten to death and two others burnt alive after being attacked, allegedly by residents of Apta village in Rae Bareli on Monday.
Four persons, including three sons of village pradhan Ram Sahi Yadav — Vijay Kumar Yadav alias Raja Yadav, Krishna Kumar Yadav and Pradeep Kumar Yadav — have been arrested. The fourth accused, Ram Bahal Yadav, is also a resident of Apta. Police claimed to have recovered two bloodstained sticks, a countrymade pistol and three cartridges from them.
The deceased were identified as Rohit Shukla, Anoop Mishra, Ankush Mishra alias Bhaskar Mishra, Brijesh Shukla and Narendra Shukla — all residents of the neighbouring Pratapgarh district.
M S Khan, Station Officer, Unchahar, said that on Monday evening they learnt from a police control room that five persons opened fire in Apta. When local residents tried to catch them, they fled in their vehicle. Around 800 metres away, the vehicle hit an electric pole and caught fire.
A police team arrived and found two bodies burnt inside the vehicle, while three others were lying outside. Heavy police force, including RAF, has been deployed in the Yadav-dominated village, which is 32 km from Rae Bareli.
“Rohit, who has eight criminal cases against him, including attempt to murder, recently shifted to Apta and was building a house,” said Gaurav Singh, SSP, Rae Bareli. Singh said that it appeared that Rohit wanted to contest elections for the pradhan’s post, and had a tussle with the sons of the current pradhan.
Rohit was former pradhan of Devara village in Pratapgarh.
According to Khan, Rohit’s brother Devesh told the police that they were on their way to the former’s under-construction house when the pradhan’s three sons opened fire on them. Devesh’s in-laws live in Apta.
Devesh said Rohit, who was driving, lost control of the vehicle and hit the pole. He, his friend Veeru Pandey, Narendra Shukla, Anoop Mishra and Ankush Mishra managed to exit the vehicle. They were attacked by the accused with rods and sticks, he added.
Devesh said that he and Veeru managed to escape, while the others were killed. He got an FIR registered against the pradhan’s three sons and four unidentified persons.
Apta pradhan Ram Sahi Yadav denied that her sons had killed anyone. “Rohit and four others came to my house and demanded Rs 3 lakh from us. When my sons refused to pay, they started beating them. Seeing people coming, Rohit and his associates escaped in their vehicle,” she said.
Chief Medical Officer, Rae Bareli, Dinesh Kumar Singh said, “Two bodies recovered from inside the vehicle were completely burnt. The three others died of injuries caused by a blunt object.”
ADG, Lucknow zone, Abhay Kumar Prasad said Devesh got land from his in-laws at Apta and Rohit was constructing a house on it.