Smriti Irani aide shot dead in Amethi: Police

Surendra Singh, former village head of Baraulia village under Jamo police station limits, was shot dead by unidentified assailants at his residence, last night.

A key aide of Union minister Smriti Irani, who reportedly played an important role in her historic win over Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Amethi Lok Sabha constituency, was shot dead by unidentified assailants.

According to the police sources here, the deceased, identified as Surendra Singh, a former village panchayat chief, was sprayed with bullets by two motorbike-borne assailants outside his home at Baraulia village in Amethi district, about 125 kilometres from here, late on Saturday night.

Singh was rushed to the KG Medical College Hospital in Lucknow but succumbed to his injuries on the way at dawn on Sunday, police said.

Smriti Irani rushed to Amethi to console the grieving family. She also gave a shoulder to Singh in his last journey.

UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath has instructed the police to nab the killers at the earliest. He has also rushed a top police official to Amethi from the state capital.

Although the police said that the killing could be a fall out of an old enmity, Singh's family members alleged that Congress workers might be involved in the incident and sought a thorough probe.

''Two motor bike borne youths called my father out last night...we heard gun shots a little later...we found him lying in a pool of blood and saw the duo speeding away,'' Singh's son Abhai Kumar Singh said.

''My father had extensively campaigned for Smriti Irani...BJP took a sizable lead on the polling booth at our village...some local Congress leaders did not like it,'' he alleged.

Amethi police chief Daya Ram said that the reasons behind the killing were yet to be ascertained though he did not rule out old enmity.

Singh had hit the headlines after he distributed shoes among the electorate in his and other villages in the run up to the polls. Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi had also sharply criticised distribution of shoes and accused the BJP of trying to ''buy'' votes.

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