A constable died of gunshot wound and seven people were injured as the fight over a palace in Amethi between Congress MP Sanjay Singh and his son Anant Vikram Singh took a bloody turn on Sunday when a clash broke out between the latter’s supporters and policemen.
Amethi district administration had deployed 400 police personnel at Ramnagar village to ensure “safe entry” for Sinh and his second wife Ameeta in “Bhupati Bhawan”. However, a group of locals along with Sinh’s first wife Garima and her son Anant (36) tried to stop the Congress MP from entering his ancestral house, leading to the clash between the policemen and the villagers.
The police used batons, tear gas and fired rubber bullets to disperse the stone-pelting crowd outside the palace. During this melee, someone from the crowd allegedly fired at constable Vijay Pratap Mishra, 50, resulting in his death. The police have so far detained 18 people in connection with the violence and were also likely to file an FIR against Anant.
Sources said Sinh and his second wife Ameeta, who reached Amethi from Lucknow residence, were safely escorted by the district police to the palace.
Apart from the barricading the palace, three companies of Police Armed Constabulary, 125 constables, 25 sub-inspectors, four circle officers, eight station officers, one additional superintendent of police along with district administration officers were deployed to ensure safe entry for the “royal couple” inside their palace, claimed SSP Hira Lal.
Sinh and Ameeta had not visited the palace since Garima along with her children —Anant and two daughters —and grandchildren entered the palace on July 25, 2014 after a gap of 18 years, claiming their “share in the ancestral property”. While Sinh claims he had divorced his first wife before marrying Ameeta, who is also an ex-Congress MLA, Garima maintains that she was still the “lawfully wedded wife” of the MP.
The SSP said, “The entire incident has been videographed and we would lodge FIRs and arrest culprits accordingly. As there were reports that they would visit the palace, crowd started gathering outside. We tried to disperse them, but they resorted to stone-pelting following which we had to use a bit of force as well.”
He said that the crowd was reportedly mobilised by Anant and the constable was shot from a “country made weapon”. Meanwhile, Anant, who is still inside the palace along with his mother, alleged, “My father had met Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and police was taking one-sided action. Crowd had simply gathered outside the palace and was raising slogans. The policemen first resorted to lathicharge and this led to the clash.” On the constable’s death, he said, “None of them (protesters) could have shot the constable. They are trying to frame us.” There was no response form Sinh or Ameeta. Meanwhile, the CM has announced Rs 20 lakh financial assistance to the family of the deceased constable.