The murder of BJP leader Shiv Kumar Yadav (38) is the second such instance of a party worker being shot dead ahead of the Uttar Pradesh municipal elections on November 22. In September, a BJP worker from Ghaziabad, Gajendra Bhati, was shot dead by bike-borne assailants in Khoda Colony. Ahead of the assembly polls in the state this year, Yadav had changed his political affiliation from the Samajwadi Party to the BJP. While Yadav’s family hails from Behlolpur village in Gautam Buddh Nagar district, he lived in Ghaziabad.
He was on his way home on Thursday when “bike-borne assailants” opened fire at his vehicle, killing him and his driver. “He used to run two schools in the area. He was heading home after visiting one school in Tigri when the incident took place,” Ajay Kumar Sharma, SHO, Bisrakh police station, said.
Senior BJP leaders in Gautam Buddh Nagar district maintained that Yadav “had been actively working for the party in his area”. “He had joined the party close to a year ago. He was a worker and did not hold any position. However, he was actively working in the district. He had come to meet me on Diwali; he was very soft-spoken. I have no idea about any rivalry which might have led to this. What has happened is very unfortunate,” Vimla Batham, former Noida MLA and BJP leader, said.
Raghvendra Dubey, general secretary of the Samajwadi Party’s Noida unit, said: “He was with our party till a couple of years ago. His cousin, Shivram Yadav, is still with the SP.” Police sources maintained that Yadav’s family had seen two murders in the past. “His uncle and a relative were murdered. Yadav was also arrested in a murder case in Haibatpur village around two years ago. It seems these incidents are linked. However, details will be revealed only after further investigation,” a senior officer said.