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Political rivalry suspected behind Irani aide murder, 3 arrested

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Lucknow, May 27: Three persons have been arrested in connection with the murder of Surendra Singh, a close aide of Bharatiya Janata Party MP and former Union Minister Smriti Irani. The Uttar Pradesh Police on Monday claimed that local political rivalry was behind the murder of Surendra Singh.

Irani, who unseated Gandhi from his bastion when results were announced on May 23, said Singh was killed so that Amethi could be "terrorised, disintegrated and bowed down."

Smriti Irani

"We have arrested three murder suspects. Two suspects are still absconding&we will nab them soon. On the basis of all evidence it is very clear that the 5 murder suspects and the victim had local level political rivalry," said OP Singh, UP DGP, told the media.

"As many as seven persons were taken into custody and they were interrogated. Among those, there were three who were linked with the incident," Singh said. "As of now, two accused persons are still absconding and we are tracking them," the DGP said.

On Saturday, Smriti Irani's close aide Surendra Singh, a former head of Baraulia village which is around 25 km from the Amethi district headquarters, was shot at by an unidentified man. Surendra Singh was referred to a Lucknow hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries during treatment.

[Singh was killed so that Amethi could be terrorised: Smriti Irani]

Surendra Singh had actively participated in Irani's election campaign and had earned praise from the BJP leader in her speeches at public meetings.

Singh's son had reportedly alleged involvement of Congress supporters.

Earlier, an FIR was registered against five persons under sections 302 (punishment for murder) and 120B (punishment of criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on the complaint of Narendra Singh, brother of Surendra Singh.

Irani had launched a veiled attack at Rahul Gandhi, who had asked her to "take care of Amethi" after conceding defeat. "On May 23, I got a political message publicly-- Amethi ko pyar se sambhalna (please take care of Amethi with love). I want to tell the person who sent this message that I have received the message loud and clear," she said.

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