A 35-year-old Block Development Council (BDC) member from Mirzapur in Azamgarh was shot after an argument over dominance triggered a clash between two groups at Nawada village on Monday night.
Two men — Sanjay Singh and his cousin Manoj Singh — have been arrested. They are from two neighbouring villages of Badaria and Bakhiya. Police have booked eight people and are conducting raids to trace the rest.
The victim, Surendra Yadav, was killed when he was returning home after taking part in the terhvi ritual (an occasion marked by prayers for the dead) of a neighbour in the village. He was declared brought dead at a hospital.
In the last 10 days, this is the second such incident in which an elected representative has fallen to bullets in Azamgarh.
On August 14, Satyamev, pradhan of Basgaon village, was shot allegedly by Thakurs, and in the ensuing protest against the murder, an eight-year-old child died in a stampede.
Senior Superintendent of Police (Azamgarh) Sudhir Kumar Singh said the Nawada incident occurred in a fit of anger.
Station House Officer, Nizamabad police station, Anwar Ali Khan said as per a complaint filed by victim’s nephew Shubham Yadav, they had gone to their neighbour’s house to take part in the terhvi on Monday evening.
A heated argument took place between Surendra and the accused over dominance in the area. Villagers intervened and the matter was resolved.
When Surendra and his associates were returning, the accused waylaid him in the village market, said Khan. The argument, Khan said, escalated in to a clash between the two groups, and one of the accused shot Surendra in the chest. The accused fled leaving behind their bikes.
Irked over the death, villagers torched three bikes. Protesters were reined in after a police team pacified them and promised the arrest of the accused at the earliest.
No separate FIR was filed for damage to the bikes, said police.
DIG, Azamgarh Range, Subhash Chandra Dubey said the National Security Act (NSA) and UP Gangster Act may be invoked against the accused. The NSA is generally invoked to pre-empt the release on bail.
At Basgaon case, three people had been arrested and another two were absconding, said Sandeep Yadav, SHO of Tarwa police station.