Five local political functionaries, including three of the SP, and one each of the BJP and BSP, have either been shot dead or attacked in the week after the Lok Sabha poll results were declared, with the Opposition parties accusing the police of being partial in investigation.
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav has claimed that SP leaders are being killed one after another in the state, with his party’s spokesperson Rajendra Choudhary alleging bias in the police probe.
A look at the five murders and progress in investigations.
Amethi (May 25): BJP worker Surendra Singh, who actively participated in Smriti Irani’s Lok Sabha campaign in Amethi, was shot dead while sleeping outside his house at Baraulia village. Two days after the murder, police arrested three of the five suspects named in the FIR with UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath directing the DGP to take “severe” and “effective” action and arrest the culprits within 12 hours.
Ghazipur (May 24): District panchayat member and SP worker Vijay Yadav alias Pappu (44) was shot dead outside his house at Salarpur village. Three unidentified persons were named in the case. Ghazipur SP Arvind Chaturvedi said, “We have identified the accused, but we can’t divulge the names yet. We are not sure about the exact motive yet.” Newly-elected BSP MP Afzal Ansari alleged that the police detained a few people in the case but they were released under pressure from the BJP.
Jaunpur (May 31): Local SP leader Lalji Yadav was killed in Udali village in Sarai Khwaja police station area by three-four unidentified men. Sub-inspector, Sarai Khwaja police station, Ramesh Yadav, said, “The accused are still unidentified, but we will soon identify and arrest them.” Police are yet to ascertain the motive.
Greater Noida (May 31): SP functionary Ramtek Kataria was shot dead in his car by unidentified persons at Jarcha Road. A BJP office-bearer is among the six accused named in the FIR. Gautam Buddha Nagar (Rural) SP Vineet Jaiswal told The Indian Express that the murder was a result of a family feud. “There are six named accused in the case and some accused are unidentified. All the named accused are absconding,” Jaiswal said. However, SP district president Beer Singh Yadav alleged that the police have not nabbed any accused since two of them are linked to the BJP.
BJP’s district chief Vijay Bhati admitted that one of the accused is a BJP office-bearer but denied that any other suspect has links to his party. Another SP leader, Brijpal Rathi (47), was shot at in Greater Noida on May 31. “Rathi was in his car when he was attacked. He is in hospital. A case of attempt to murder has been lodged against unidentified persons, but no arrest is made so far,” said Munish Chouhan, SHO of Surajpur police station.
Bijnor (May 28): BSP leader Haji Ehsan Ahmed (50) and his nephew Shadaab (27) were shot dead at their real estate office on May 28.
Police had said that the accused entered Ahmed’s office with a box of sweets to congratulate him for the victory of the party’s newly-elected MP Malook Nagar.
Two people have been arrested in the case and a hunt is on for the third, the police said.