The bullet-riddled body of a local Samajwadi Party (SP) worker was found at a deserted spot near Maharajpur village of Ballia district Sunday morning, police said. The family of Manoj Singh (47) had reported him missing on Saturday evening. Police suspect personal rivalry could be the reason behind his death.
“His chest bore bullet injuries. We sent the body for a post-mortem on Sunday and autopsy reports are awaited. His body has been handed over to his family,” a police officer said.
Singh, a contractor and an SP worker considered close to a former Cabinet member from the party, had reportedly gone to visit an acquaintance on Saturday, but did not return home. A search party found his body the next morning. Senior police officers reached the spot and a case was registered.
“No one has been arrested yet. Prima facie, it appears to be a case of personal rivalry over an affair with a woman in the area,” said a police officer. He ruled out any political or business rivalry.
“Around 15 SP leaders and workers have been shot dead since January in UP. We cannot say there was no political hand behind these,” Leader of Opposition and SP leader Ram Govind Chaudhary said.
Digvijay Singh, state president of the Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha, said, “These murder cases are being generalised as those of personal rivalries, but these are targeted killings.”