Hours after Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) Khurja candidate Manoj Kumar Gautam’s brother and his friend were found dead, the RLD candidate was questioned by the police at the Khurja police station.
Around 8 pm on Monday, Gautam’s brother Vinod Kumar (22) and his friend Sachin had left the venue of an election rally in Bulandshahr in a Scorpio. A few hours later, their bodies, with bullet injuries to the head and the chest, were found a kilometre from the Delhi-Aligarh highway in Khurja area of Bulandshahr.
According to the complaint filed with the police, a party worker and an auto-driver were accused of the murder. But police said that a family member was behind the incident.
“The case has been worked out. One of the two accused has been arrested and there is no law and order issue here. A close family member of the deceased is behind the murders,” a senior police official said.
“A .32 bore pistol was used and we have recovered a pistol from a close family member. We have looked at electronic surveillance. The Scorpio which was recovered was parked away from the fields where their bodies had been found,” the police official added.
Talking about the incident, Pushpinder Choudhary, an RLD worker at the party’s office in Khurja, said: “They had been asked by our candidate to see off some people after the rally. A little while after they left, their mobile phones got switched off and no one knew about their whereabouts. We went looking for them but could not find them. The police was approached and an FIR was filed in the case against two persons.”
About the two accused — a party worker and an auto-driver — named in the complaint, Gaurav Gujjar, another RLD worker, said: “The party worker had joined the RLD office about a year ago. He used to look at office work here in Khurja. Since last evening, no one has seen him. We do not know about the auto-driver.”
Meanwhile, Gautam and his other brother, Sanjeev, were rushed to a private hospital in Bulandshahr after they complained of chest pain and weakness, his family said. Incidentally, as Vinod’s body returned to their village Sahpani in Sikandrabad area of Bulandshahr on Tuesday evening, Gautam was discharged from the hospital and was present during the funeral, police and RLD workers said.
Gautam had joined the RLD a few weeks ago, and had earlier worked for the BSP for three years.
“He had hoped for a ticket from the BSP for this election. However, BSP did not give him a ticket and that is when he joined the RLD. His mother was shaken by this episode and she moved back to the village with Vinod around three months ago. Vinod had developed wrong habits and that is when Manoj Gautam called him to Khurja to make him help with party work,” said K B Sharma, a family friend and neighbour in the village.