Updated: January 30, 2021 1:56:16 am
A local court in Kushinagar district has allowed the administration to withdraw a six-year-old criminal case against former BJP MLA Atul Singh and others for allegedly blocking a road during a protest against the alleged assault and extortion of two people by the police. Last March, the state government had ordered officials to withdraw the case.
Singh, at present the UP Gau Sewa Ayog vice-chairperson, was a leader of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, an outfit started by current Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in 2002. He won the Assembly polls from Ramkola in Kushinagar in 2007.
“Special Judge Shalini Sagar allowed withdrawal application in the interest of justice on Wednesday. The court found that there was not enough evidence against the accused. Except for policemen, there were no private witnesses in the case. There were least chances to convict the accused and there would be no impact on public interest if the case was withdrawn,” said district government counsel GP Yadav.
In 2015, the former MLA and others leaders, including former block pramukh Virendra Singh were part of a protest against the police and district administration after receiving reports that the police had assaulted two people and extorted money from them. They blocked the Gorakhpur-Kasya road (National Highway-28) and threw traffic out of gear. They raised slogans against the police and the district administration, and allegedly misbehaved with commuters. The protest was withdrawn after two hours after the leaders were assured that action would be taken in the matter.
The police filed a case against the former MLA and others at the Hatta police station under IPC section 143 (member of unlawful assembly) and 283 (danger or obstruction in public way or line of navigation). The police also invoked Section 7 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act and the National Highway Act against the accused. A chargesheet was filed against 16 people, including Atul Singh.
The former MLA told The Indian Express, “We got a complaint from people that the police were charging three times the taxes from taxi drivers. I informed the district administration and the police, but no one took action. The Samajwadi Party government was in power then. We raised the issue in public interest, but did not block the road. The police later lodged a false case against us.”
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