Azamgarh police will seek custody of SP MLA Ramakant Yadav for questioning in a hooch tragedy case a week after he had surrendered before a local court in a murder attempt case.
On Saturday, a court in Azamgarh had sent Yadav to 14-day judicial custody in connection with the hooch death case.
Senior Superintendent of Police (Azamgarh) Anurag Arya said they will now move an application in the court for his custody as they have collected evidence linking him to the death of seven persons from drinking spurious liquor in February.
“During our investigation into the hooch tragedy case, the name of Ramakant Yadav came to light. We have collected evidence against the MLA and moved court. On Saturday, the court sent Yadav to judicial custody in the case,” Arya said.
In February, seven persons died after allegedly consuming countrymade liquor from a government shop at Mahul town under Ahraula police station area in Azamgarh. Thirteen people, including a close relative of MLA, Rangesh Yadav, were arrested. Police have invoked the UP Gangsters Act against all the 13 accused and charged six accused, including Rangesh, under the stringent National Security Act (NSA). All the 13 accused are in jail.
“During the preliminary inquiry, it came to light that Rangesh is the nephew of MLA Ramakant Yadav and stays with him. It has been confirmed that the MLA was aware of Rangesh’s activities and he used to give him protection,” the SSP added.
However, Ramakant’s lawyer, Adya Shankar Dubey, denied the allegation levelled by the police against his client. “Police are making false allegations to frame my client in a spurious liquor death case. Police got evidence against the MLA in a hooch case when he surrendered in another case. The charges are all false. Also, Rangesh is not the real nephew of Ramakant Yadav as claimed by the police,” Dubey said.
Ramakant Yadav, against whom over three dozen cases are pending, won from Phoolpur Pawai in Azamgarh in the 2022 Assembly polls. He was earlier with the BJP but later joined the SP. He has been a five-time MLA and a four-time Lok Sabha MP.
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On July 25, Ramakant Yadav surrendered before a court in Azamgarh in a 1998 murder attempt case.
Ramakant was then contesting from the Azamgarh Lok Sabha seat on an SP ticket. On December 17, 1998, an argument took place between Ramakant and BSP candidate Akbar Ahmed Dumpy at Ambari. Things turned ugly when their aides started pelting stones at each other and opened fire.