In a huge embarrassment to ruling SP in Uttar Pradesh, an eight-year-old boy was killed in celebratory firing by party workers in Shamli district that led Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today to order the immediate removal of the area’s SDM and Deputy SP.
In an ugly fallout from the incident, two crew members of a leading English news channel who went to the spot for coverage of the tragedy and agitation by angry locals were allegedly attacked by local SP leader and MLA Nahid Hasan and his aides.
The boy, Sami, who was passing by Kairana area in a rickshaw, was hit during the firing by SP workers yesterday, Superintendent of Police Anil Kumar Jha said.
The workers were celebrating the victory of party candidate Nafisa in the local body polls from the town, he said, adding the boy later succumbed to his injuries.
As irate locals blocked the Khatima-Panipat Highway to protest the death of the boy, police said a case has been registered against 10 persons, including Nafisa’s husband under relevant sections of the IPC. Efforts are being made to arrest the absconding accused, police said, adding a police inspector was also suspended.
In Lucknow, IG (Law and Order) Bhagwan Swaroop said an FIR has been lodged against 10 persons of whom five were named.
Those who have been named include Gayum, husband of newly elected block head Mumtaz, Inaam alias Dhuri and Nafees alias Chotta.
“Three persons have been taken into custody and are being quizzed,” he said.
With the incident likely to give a handle to the Samajwadi Party’s rivals to slam the state government during the ongoing Budget session of the Assembly, the chief minister went on a damage control mode, instructing Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan to immediately remove Sub-divisional Magistrate (SDM) and Deputy Superintendent of Police(SP) of Shamli and take disciplinary action against them.
“yadavakhilesh instructs CS to immediately remove SDM/DYSP from the district & disciplinary action to be taken against them,” a tweet in the CMO said.
A senior SP leader said MLA Nahid Hasan has been served a show-cause notice and the victorious block pramukh expelled from the party.
“This action has been taken by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, who is also the state SP chief,” Rajendra Chaudhary told PTI.
When the TV crew went to the spot for coverage, a crowd allegedly abused the channel reporter and video journalist and threatened them with dire consequences if they did not delete the video footage.
The video journalist was allegedly held hostage by them and the footage was forcefully deleted.
“They took my camera away and they also tried to remove the memory chip. I was asked to delete the footage, for this they even called their own photographer. They told me if you don’t give the camera you know what we will do. Then their own photographers took my camera and deleted the footage we had shot,” the video journalist said.
Opposition BSP and BJP leaders said they would raise the incident in both Houses of the state legislature.
Leader of the Opposition in Assembly and BSP MLA Swami Prasad Maurya alleged that state ministers and ruling party MLAs were creating law and order problems in the state.
BSP members would raise the issue, along with other matters concerning law and order, in the House, Maurya said.
BJP spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said Samajwadi Party workers attacked the media, the fourth pillar of democracy, in a planned manner.
“SP workers, who have won panchayat election on the basis of state-sponsored anarchy, should realise the ground reality,” he said.
Congress legislator Akhilesh Pratap Singh said his party would seek a discussion in Assembly on the deteriorating law and order situation in the state.