THE SON of former Uttar Pradesh minister Hari Shankar Tiwari has claimed his father’s house in Gorakhpur was raided by the police on the pretext of catching the associate of a robber, but the search was actually meant to harass the six-time former minister, who has differences with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Hari Shankar, an Independent, had served in BJP, Samajwadi Party and BSP governments as ministers. His son Vinay Shanker Tiwari is the BSP MLA from Chillupur in Gorakhpur. Vinay had contested the 2009 Lok Sabha elections against Adityanath on a BSP ticket and lost.
Vinay alleged that the search, which was conducted without the court’s permission, was aimed at maligning the image of the family.
On Saturday afternoon, personnel from several police stations led by ASP (City) Hemraj Meena, allegedly raided Tiwari’s house at Dharamshala area in Gorakhpur. They allegedly searched the premises and left without finding anything suspicious.
“The police team searched my house but failed to show any court order for the operation. The action was initiated to malign our image because we have differences with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. We have decided to stage a demonstration outside the district magistrate’s residence on Monday, demanding action against the policemen who conducted the search,” Vinay said.
When contacted, ASP Meena denied the allegations. “We had gone to the place looking for Sonu Pathak. We had come to know that Sonu Pathak used to visit Tiwari’s residence and knew Vijay Yadav, who is wanted in a robbery case. We did not enter Tiwari’s residence. We searched the quarters where the staff of Tiwari stay and an adjacent building where a few other employees live.”
Meena, however, admitted the police were not carrying a court permission for the search.
He said that during the search, police caught seven persons and brought them to the police station for questioning. While six of them were allowed to go, Ashok Singh, who was allegedly carrying cartridges, was arrested. “During questioning, Ashok Singh confessed that Sonu Pathak used to visit Tiwari’s residence,” the ASP said.
The search was linked to Rs 98 lakh being looted from the cashier of private firm in Gorakhpur’s Khorabar area on March 13. During investigation, police had found out that cashier Ajay Pratap was behind the loot. Following this, Ajay Pratap and three others were arrested. Police recovered Rs 31 lakh of the booty. Those arrested reportedly told the police that the remaining Rs 67 lakh was with Chhotu Chaubey. When police started a search for Chhotu, he surrendered in court in an old case.
“Chhotu Chaubey, who was on a nine-hour police custody remand, had said that Sonu Pathak was a frequent visitor to Tiwari’s residence and knew the whereabouts of Vijay Yadav,” Gorakhpur SSP Ram Lal Verma said.