In the wake of growing crime graph in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh and the utterances of some party leaders in support of the accused, Nadda called up Swatantra Dev Singh and directed him to restrain Bairia MLA Surendra Singh and ask him to stay away from influencing the probe in the Ballia firing incident. Surendra Singh has been issuing statements supporting main accused and his close associate Dhirendra Singh in the murder case.
According to BJP sources, Nadda told the UP unit chief that the party does not tolerate such conduct and will not accept it.
Party sources have also confirmed that after this call, Swatantra Dev Singh spoke to Surendra Singh on the issue and told him not to issue statements to the media. The latter had claimed before the press that he has documentary evidence to prove Dhirendra Singh is innocent and that he will submit them to the BJP UP unit chief.
There is growing worry in the BJP central leadership over the increasing cases of rape and murder in Uttar Pradesh. Some leaders are also of the view that members of a particular caste have been involved in most of these cases and efforts to manipulate investigation in these incidents will cost the party dearly in future.
Meanwhile, Dhirendra Singh was produced before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ballia on Monday. The court sent him to 15 days of judicial custody. UP Special Task Force had arrested him from Lucknow on Sunday.
Surendra Singh and others have maintained that it was a case of incidental firing in a melee during the process of allotment of a ration shop. The incident took place in Durjanpur village on October 15. Jai Prakash Pal, a 45-year-old farmer died in the firing incident. Ten people, including two brothers of Dhirendra Singh, have been arrested so far.
Dhirendra Singh reportedly has the image of a strongman and is a close associate of Surendra Singh. The firing incident took place in the presence of an SDM and a DSP, both of whom have been suspended.
The UP government has faced severe criticism for not just the rising number of crime cases but the manner in which the police and administration have handled them. Some BJP leaders have reportedly spoken in defence of the accused in a few cases. The Ballia firing case took place within days of the rape and murder case of a 19-year-old Dalit girl in Hathras. The girl died on September 29, 15 days after she was gang raped and strangled by four men.
The Hathras DM and police personnel were hauled up by the Allahabad High Court for the hurried cremation of the victim at 2 am without the family’s consent. The case was finally handed over to the CBI.
Congress has been slamming the Yogi Adityanath government on the law and order situation in UP, especially the rising rape cases.
“Who is the BJP government backing in the Ballia incident? According to reports, the culprit was caught by the police after the murder but managed to escape,” Party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi said on Twitter. She also asked Modi, Nadda and Home Minister Amit Shah why the MLA has not been sacked from the party for supporting a murder accused.
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