Lucknow: Forty-eight hours since a 46-year-old was shot dead during a meeting on allotment of ration shops in Ballia district of Uttar Pradesh, the police are yet to arrest the main accused, Dhirendra Pratap Singh, a local BJP leader.
Police have arrested two people, including the brother of the BJP leader. Two others surrendered Saturday, but Dhirendra is still absconding.
As the police is on a lookout for him, a video of the accused has gone viral in which he has made serious allegations against the administration.
In a video released Friday on social networking sites, Dhirendra describes himself as the president of Sainik Kalyan Prakost, and claims that one of his family members died and half a dozen people were injured in Thursday’s incident. He can also be heard saying that his 80-year-old father and sister-in-law were attacked in the presence of officials. Dhirendra alleged the attackers were armed with lathis.
Speaking to ThePrint, the PRO of Superintendent of Police, Ballia said 10 police teams have been deployed to trace Dhirendra.
BJP MLA defends alleged shooter
Meanwhile, local BJP MLA Surendra Singh has come out in support of Dhirendra, claiming that he fired in “self defence”.
In a video released Friday, Surendra can be heard saying that had Dhirendra not fired in self-defence, dozens from his family would have been killed.
“The incident that has occurred is condemnable, but the police are taking unilateral action,” Surendra said.
How can I deny that he is my close associate? Not only mine, he is a close associate of BJP as his family votes for us & he worked for us in polls. Everyone who votes for us is a close associate. But I decry the incident & administration's one-sided probe: Surendra Singh, BJP MLA https://t.co/a88JV4eYcW pic.twitter.com/tuq4VL4TVD
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) October 16, 2020
The BJP MLA also said that Dhirendra has been associated with the party’s frontal organisation Sainik Kalyan Prakost, and that the latter had also intensively canvassed for him during the Legislative Assembly elections.
BJP’s Ballia district president Jai Parkas Shahu, however, denied Dhirendra’s association with the party.
How it all began
The argument started during a meeting at Durjanpur village over allotment of two rations shops.
Devendra Nath, Superintendent of Police, Ballia, said the meeting was called Thursday at Panchayat Bhawan for allocation of two shops in Durjanpur village of Ballia. Sub divisional magistrate (SDM) Suresh Pal and circle officer of Ballia, Chandrakesh Singh were also present at the spot, along with Revati police station personnel.
Four self-help groups had applied for allotment of these two shops. When a consensus could not be reached on allocation of one of them, it was decided that the issue will be resolved through voting between the two groups. However, according to the SP, an argument broke out since members of one group did not have their identity cards. This led to chaos and shots were fired leading to 46-year-old Jaiprakash’s death. After the incident, Dhirendra escaped from the spot.
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