A man was shot dead, allegedly by a BJP leader, and six others were injured in a shooting and brick-lashing during an open meeting called for the designation of two fair-priced shops in the eastern Ballia district. Uttar Pradesh on Thursday, police said.
A police officer said the incident took place in the presence of the magistrate under division (SDM) and the district officer in pankhayat bhavan in Durjanpur village below the borders of Revati police station, about 150km east of Varanasi.
In a statement, the UP government said that Prime Minister Adityanath has received information about the incident in Ballia and has directed that SDM, CO and police personnel in the country be immediately suspended and stricter measures taken against the accused. The role of the officers would be investigated and, if they were found responsible (for the incident), criminal proceedings would be initiated, the statement added.
Police Officer (Ballia) Devendranath Dubey, said a Dheerendra Pratap Singh opened fire and the bullet hit Jaiprakash Pal. Paul was rushed to hospital where doctors pronounced him dead upon arrival.
Dheerendra Pratap Singh was affiliated with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), locals claimed, and a BJP leader confirmed it.
Singh is the president of the BJP (military cell)’s Sainik Prakosht Ballia district unit, according to BJP MLA Surendra Singh, who represents the Bairia constituency in Ballia. The BJP MLA described the incident as ‘a victim’ and said the law would take its course.
An officer said the injured were taken to the government hospital in Sonbarsa in Ballia. The heavy police force has been deployed in the village as a precaution.
Police said the meeting was held to share two fairly priced shops in the villages of Durjanpur and Hanumanganj. Two self-help women, Maa Shayar Jagdamba and Shivshakti Sahayata Samuh, had applied for the right to operate the shops. At the meeting, it was decided to hold a vote to determine the division of the shops.
Police said SDM Suresh Kumar Pal and CO Chandrakesh Singh arranged for only people with Aadhaar or other valid identity cards to vote. But the meeting turned chaotic as even those without IDs insisted on voting. The meeting was later canceled by the Bairia bloc development officer.
Police said both sides chanted anti-administration slogans and one person opened fire.
One case was registered against eight named persons and 25 others who were not identified following a complaint from the brother of the late Chandrama Pal.
Injured include Narendra Singh, 45, Aradhna Singh, 45, Dharmendra Singh, 40, Rajendra Singh, 45 and two others.
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