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Ballia firing: Five people taken into custody, hunt on for BJP leader who opened fire

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Ballia, Oct 16: Police have taken into custody five people and launched a hunt for a local BJP leader who allegedly shot dead a man as a fracas broke out at a meeting attended by administration and police officials over allotment of ration shops in a Ballia village, officials said on Friday.

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    firing

    Nine policemen posted at Reoti police station -- three sub-inspectors and six constables -- have been suspended on charges of laxity, Additional Superintendent of Police Sanjay Kumar Singh said.

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    Sub divisional magistrate (SDM) Suresh Chandra Pal and circle officer of police Chandrakesh Singh were suspended on the directions of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath soon after the incident on Thursday. ASP Singh said an FIR has been registered against BJP leader Dhirendra Pratap Singh, his brother Narendra Pratap Singh and 22-25 unnamed persons.

    Five people have been detained for questioning, he said, adding that raids are being conducted for the arrest of the accused. A brother of the deceased, however, alleged that the police let off the main accused.

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    "There were 10 policemen on the spot...they were saving the culprits and beating us. When Dhirendra Pratap Singh was fleeing after firing, the police had caught him from behind. But they later took him to a nearby embankment and let him go," Tej Pratap Pal, the brother of the deceased, told reporters on Friday.

    Meanwhile, ADG Brij Bhushan and DIG Subhash Chandra Dubey reached Ballia and visited the scene of crime in Durjanpur village in Ballia's Reoti area on Friday.

    Jai Prakash was shot dead allegedly by Dhirendra Pratap Singh after the SDM decided not to go ahead with the meeting due to a dispute between members of self-help groups.

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    Bairia MLA Surendra Singh confirmed that Singh heads the BJP's ex-servicemen's unit in Ballia district. The Opposition Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP) attacked the Uttar Pradesh government over the incident.

    BSP chief Mayawati said the incident in Ballia is "very alarming" and criticised the state government over law and order. In a tweet in Hindi, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said, "The truth of the law and order of Uttar Pradesh has been exposed with a leader of the ruling BJP in Ballia openly killing a man in front of the SDM and CO. Now let's see if the government of encounters also gets the vehicle of its own people overturned."

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