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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

SP candidate’s journey: UK to Dubai to Fatehabad

🔴 She completed her graduation from Symbiosis, Pune and went in 2009 to the UK, where she got admission in Cardiff University, Wales for her MBA degree.

Written by Manish Sahu | Lucknow |
Updated: January 24, 2022 4:13:06 pm
Samajwadi Party, Uttar Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh latest news, Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, UP Polls 2022, Roopali Dixit, Fatehabad constituency, indian expressRoopali Dixit meeting with supporters. (Express Photo)

The Samajwadi Party’s 34-year-old candidate from UP’s Fatehabad constituency, Roopali Dixit, completed her post-graduation and management studies in the UK and worked in a multinational company in Dubai before returning to her home in Agra in 2016 after her father, Ashok Dixit, and four other family members were sentenced to life imprisonment in a murder case.

As all senior male members of her family had been in jail, Roopali started dealing with their case. After finding it hard to decode the legal process, she took admission in a law course in Agra University and got the degree. In the meantime, she started engaging with local political and social activities too.

Roopali’s father Ashok Dixit, 75, and others were convicted in 2015 in the killing of a government school teacher Suman Yadav in Firozabad in 2007. Sixty-nine criminal cases, including three murder cases, had been lodged against Ashok, a native of Firozabad, who had shifted to neighbouring Agra along with his family, which runs a cold storage business. Ashok was arrested in the Suman Yadav murder case in 2007 and had been in jail since then.

Roopali was 19 years old when her father was arrested while her younger brother Abhinav Dixit was 14. “No one in the family told me about the case initially. They used to give different excuses about my father not staying with us. Later, I was sent abroad for study,” she said.

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She completed her graduation from Symbiosis, Pune and went in 2009 to the UK, where she got admission in Cardiff University, Wales for her MBA degree. She later took admission in Leeds University, Yorkshire and did her postgraduation in marketing and advertising. Subsequently, she got a job with an MNC in Dubai and worked there for three years before returning to India in January 2016.

“I knew that something was going wrong in our family but no one gave me the real picture. With passing time, I came to know about the 2007 case. In July 2015, a local Firozabad court pronounced judgment in the case and sentenced 12 persons, including my father and four uncles to life imprisonment,” said Roopali.

“Soon afterwards, I got a call from my father, who asked me to return home as my family needed me. I was then working as a senior executive in a company in Dubai. I immediately submitted my resignation and returned to India,” she said.

“On returning home, I found male members of my family in jail and no one left to deal with the case in court. Without a background in law, I was also having problems while my family was losing hope. I then took admission in Agra University for a law degree to equip myself with legal education to face the situation,” she added.

Except Ashok, lodged in Bareilly Central Jail, and his younger brother Ajay Dixit, 62, lodged in Agra Central Jail, all other convicts in the 2007 case are currently put on bail.

While handling court cases and meeting lawyers regularly, Roopali also started engaging with Fatehabad politics. In the 2017 Assembly polls, she campaigned for BJP candidate Jitendra Verma who won the Fatehabad seat by over 34,000 votes. Verma admitted that Roopali had actively campaigned for him.

Two years later, however, Roopali stopped attending the ruling BJP’s meetings and functions. She started an organisation “Karma Sanghatan” with the objective to help underprivileged and weaker sections. It provided them food packets during the Covid pandemic.

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