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Block Panchayat Chief Polls: BDC Member's Kin Killed; SP Candidate Roughed Up

Representational image.

Representational image.

Six policemen, including Mohammadi Circle Officer Abhay Pratap Malla, Pasagawan SHO Adarsh Kumar Singh, one inspector and three sub-inspectors posted were suspended with immediate effect for the dereliction of duty.

A brother-in-law of a block development committee member was killed in Bahraich as he resisted an alleged attempt to abduct his relative by a BJP candidate's husband and supporters ahead of the polls for the block panchayat head. In another incident in Lakhimpur Kheri, a Samajwadi Party candidate was allegedly manhandled by BJP workers, after which six policemen were suspended with the administration ordering a magisterial probe.

A woman BDC member's saree was also pulled in front of police officers, alleged the Congress, who sought an apology from the state government. The Bahraich incident took place on Thursday night at Dinapurwa village when BJP candidate Sarita Yagyasaini's husband Sudhir Yagyasaini, along with her supporters and a gunner, reached block development committee (BDC) member Yadurai Devi's house. They tried to abduct her to get her vote in the polls scheduled for July 10, local residents alleged. BDC members are eligible to vote in the elections. When Yadurai Devi's brother-in-law Mayaram (60) resisted the attempt, he was hit with the butt of a gun and died on the spot, police said. Superintendent of Police Sujata Singh said an FIR has been registered against 10 people, including Sudhir Yagyasaini and the gunner deployed for the security of his wife Sarita.

Police have arrested two of the accused-Ram Bhulawan Shukla and Jitendra Kumar- and teams have been formed to arrest the others involved in the act, she said. The SP said the stringent National Security Act will be invoked against the accused.

Samajwadi Party's district president Ramharsh Yadav alleged that police are working as an "agent" of the BJP due to which its members are indulging in such acts. Meanwhile, in Kaushambi's Sirathu block, Police raided the residence of an independent candidate, finding 18 BDC members present there. They were taken to the Saini police station and later released after the intervention of BJP MLA Shitla Prasad Patel. Circle Officer Yogendra Krishan Narain said he had got information that independent candidate Dileep Patel had held 18 BDC members hostage in his house.

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Acting on it, police reached there and brought all 18 members to the police station, where the BDC members said they willingly went there and were not forced. In Lakhimpur Kheri, Samajwadi Party's district president Ram Pal Yadav and others alleged that their party nominee and her proposer were manhandled by the ruling party leaders and activists. They were not allowed to submit the nomination papers, they claimed, adding video clips of the incident have surfaced on social media. Later, on the complaint of the Samajwadi Party candidate, an FIR was lodged with the Pasgawan police against some people, two of which has been named in the complaint.

One of the accused-Yash Verma-was arrested while police teams have been formed to nab the others, Police said.

Lakhimpur Kheri DM Arvind Kumar Chaurasiya has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the whole episode. Six policemen, including Mohammadi Circle Officer Abhay Pratap Malla, Pasagawan SHO Adarsh Kumar Singh, one inspector and three sub-inspectors posted were suspended with immediate effect for the dereliction of duty. Meanwhile in Lucknow, state Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu expressed shock over the Lakhimpur incident, alleging that the saree of a woman BDC member was pulled in front of police officers. Even women ministers did not consider it appropriate to condemn the incident, he said, demanding an apology for the state government. The government has crossed all limits of dictatorship, Lallu said while demanding that the election process be started afresh for the block.

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