Four shot dead in panchayat polls

Four persons were shot dead and four others suffered serious injuries in Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s home district Etawah, about 250 kilometres from here, as post-panchayat poll bloodbath continued in the state.

According to the police sources here, the violence took place on Saturday at Bankati village in Jaswant Nagar Assembly constituency, which was represented by Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav's younger brother and UP minister Shivpal Singh Yadav.  
Sources said that around 20 rounds were fired as rival groups clashed on the village outskirts around noon.

Four persons were killed on the spot. Four others were admitted to the hospital. At least two of them are said to be very critical, police added.

Police officials in Etawah attributed the killings to panchayat poll rivalry.
“The two groups had an altercation during the recently concluded poll for the pradhan,” said a senior police official in Etawah.

Senior officials reached the spot as tension prevailed in the village, sources said.  All the victims belonged to the dominant Yadav caste and were said to be locked in a fierce political battle in the panchayat poll.

Around 20 people, including a few newly elected village pradhans, have lost their lives so far and over two dozen others were injured in incidents of violence after the conclusion of the panchayat polls in the state.

Rivals had allegedly chopped off the nose of a newly elected woman pradhan in Unnao district a few days back. Another newly elected pradhan was shot dead, allegedly by his rivals, in Pilibhit district.

UP police chief Jagmohan Yadav recently said that the government would take stern action in cases of attacks on the winners. 

Police officials here apprehend more such attacks in the days to come.

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