'Nathuram Raj' in Uttar Pradesh: Akhilesh

Last Updated 10 October 2019, 14:41 IST

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav slammed the ruling BJP in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday, saying there is not "Ram Raj" but "Nathuram Raj" in the state, a day after he visited the family of a youth killed in a police encounter over alleged illegal sand mining.

"Besides mob lynching, now there is also police lynching which can be seen here," the SP chief told newspersons.

Police said Pushpendra Yadav was killed in an encounter on Sunday after he opened fire on a patrol team. But his family members have alleged that he was killed in a staged gunfight after he refused to pay bribe to the police station in-charge and threatened to expose him.

The initial statements of Jhansi SSP and the SHO on the encounter were inconsistent.

The SP chief visited Pushpendra Yadav's family on Wednesday and assured them help.

On Thursday, he said, "There are many loopholes in the police story."

Akhilesh Yadav said he has "no trust" in the police and the administration.

"Which Ram Raj is going on in UP? This is not Ram Raj but Nathuram Raj. With mob lynching, police lynching have also started in the state," he said at a press conference.

Jhansi Senior Superintendent of Police O P Singh had told reporters on the night of the encounter that the SHO was returning alone in his private vehicle from vacation when the exchange of fire took place, but the Station House Officer involved said he was on patrol duty with two constables.

Police have also claimed Pushpendra Yadav, who ran a sand mining business, was shot dead after he opened fire on the police officer who had seized his truck a few days earlier.

Pushpendra Yadav's family alleged that the area police officer in-charge, Dharmendra Chauhan, was demanding Rs 1.5- lakh bribe to release his truck.

"I want justice. My husband...he had given money earlier but was asked for more. When he did not give it my husband was shot dead. I want justice," his wife Shivangi said, sobbing before visiting mediapersons.

They had married just three months ago.

"We demand a probe by a sitting high court judge. It's not an encounter but a murder," Akhilesh Yadav said.

"Not much should be expected from the police force of a state where the chief minister openly asks them to 'thok dalo' (shoot) those taking law in their own hands," he said.

"The BJP government of the state is equally responsible for the killing along with the local administration. The government has forgotten that it is the image of the administration which creates the right image of the government," Akhilesh Yadav said, adding the deceased's brother, a CISF jawan in Delhi, has also been made an accused in the case and was on duty that night.

To a question, the SP chief said if voted to power in 2022 assembly elections, his government will reinvestigate the case and all those responsible for it will be sent to jail.

The BJP hit back at the SP chief, saying he is concerned about the sand mining mafia and caste arithmetic.

"It was an encounter but Akhilesh has to go to the person's house because he is in love with the sand mining mafia and has to take care of the caste equation. He does not care how the sand mining mafia should be eradicated. This is precisely why he was thrown out by people in elections," senior BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh said.

(Published 10 October 2019, 14:18 IST)

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