Lucknow: A Samajwadi Party leader and his son were shot dead in broad daylight in Uttar Pradesh’s Sambhal district on Tuesday following an altercation over a road built under the MNREGA scheme. The police said two people were later arrested.
A viral video of the murder showed two men armed with rifles threatening SP leader Chhotelal Diwakar and his son Sunil, following which they shot dead the father-son duo. The video was recorded by one of the villagers present at the scene in Fatehpur Shamsoi village under Bahjoi police station in Sambhal.
One of the armed men in the video was identified as Savinder, a local strongman. Local sources said Diwakar and his son had gone to inspect the road which cut through a field in the village.
IG Ramit Sharma and SP Yamuna Prasad reached the spot and conducted investigations. An FIR was registered after a written complaint by Diwakar’s wife.
Prasad said the incident took place under the Bahjoi police station area here and the bodies have been sent for autopsy.
Chhotelal Diwakar had contested the 2017 assembly elections on a Samajwadi Party ticket.
Following the complaint, the FIR was lodged against eight people, including two unidentified persons, under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including 302 (murder), Prasad said.
Two of those named in the FIR -- Jitendra Sharma and Sharmendra Sharma -- have been arrested. The others named in the FIR are Ramendra, Upendra, Gyandendra and Gajendra Singh, he said. Efforts are being made to arrest the remaining accused, he added.
In a scathing reaction, the Samajwadi Party said the Yogi Adityanath government had failed on the “law and order front”.
“The law and order situation in UP is in its worst state. Samajwadi Party leader Chhotelal Diwakar and his son were shot dead in broad daylight. The government has failed on the law and order front badly. I demand the immediate arrest of those involved. Also, Rs 20 lakh ex-gratia should be given to the kin of the deceased,” SP leader Ram Govind Chaudhary said.
Former SP MP Dharmendra Yadav said Diwakar was a dedicated party worker. He was given the party ticket from the Chandausi Vidhan Sabha seat in the 2017 assembly elections, but the seat later went to the SP's alliance partner.
Yadav accused the BJP government in the state and the police of sheltering criminals.
"After the murder of our dedicated worker today, it has been proved that police are sheltering the criminals, and members of the opposition party, especially the Samajwadi Party, are being targeted," he said.
(With inputs from PTI)