M A I N   N E W S

SP leader held for MLA’s murder
Maya demands CBI probe; supporters take to streets
Tribune News Service & Agencies

Lucknow, January 27
The Lucknow police today arrested Samajwadi Party leader Mohammad Ashraf, brother of SP MP Atiq Ahmed, in connection with the murder of BSP MLA Raju Pal in Allahabad on Tuesday.

Mr Ashraf was nabbed from his residence under Hazratganj police station in the state capital.

Raju Pal had defeated Mr Ashraf in the byelection to the Allahabad (West) Assembly seat on October 13 last.

Over two dozen criminal cases were pending against Raju Pal while, the Atiq-Ashraf duo has a long history of criminal activities in Allahabad region.

Meanwhile, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party President Mayawati has demanded a CBI inquiry into the murder of party MLA.

After meeting family members of the slain MLA in Neewa village today, she alleged that Pal was murdered under a “well-planned conspiracy”.

She alleged the involvement of the Samajwadi party government in the murder.

Under attack for his brother’s alleged involvement and subsequent arrest in the murder case, Samajwadi Party MP Atiq Ahmed said the accusation was “politically motivated”.

“All parties are making a hue and cry over the issue and pointing an accusing finger at Ashraf just because he is my brother and I have been elected to the Lok Sabha as the nominee of the SP, Mr Atiq, who rushed home from his Haj pilgrimage, said here.

ALLLAHABAD: In its attempt to deny BSP a chance to gain political mileage, the Allahabad police surreptitiously cremated Raju Pal’s body along with two of his supporters early Wednesday morning.

The city, already under pressure with the ongoing Magh Mela and Republic Day celebrations, witnessed unruly scenes when supporters of the slain BSP MLA took to the streets in protest. Section 144 was imposed and a curfew-like situation was visible in most parts of the city with heavy police bandobust.

Supporters of the slain MLA attacked Dhumanganj police attacked Dhumanganj police station and set fire to Rajapur and Allahpur police posts. Irate followers raided the Kanhaipur house Mr Trilochan Yadav and set his vehicle on fire. He is brother of sitting Samajwadi MLA from Jhusi, Ms Vijma Yadav, and lives close to Sulem Sarai, the site where the murder took place on Tuesday afternoon.

In self-defence shots were fired from his house in which an unidentified person was killed, confirmed Principal Secretary Home Alok Sinha.

On Wednesday morning, when senior BSP leaders, including state President Bhiku Ram Verma, reached the Rasulpur Ghat, three pyres were already burning there. Speaking to TNS, he lashed out at the police-administration combine for giving the MLA a pauper’s funeral. “Lawaris ki tarah lash phook di”, he said in an emotion-choked voice.

Charging the state administration of misleading the media by claiming that a cousin of the deceased MLA was handed over the body for last rites, the BSP President said no such thing had happened. “The family of the MLA, his gunner Sandeep Yadav, whose father is a pradhan, and the third deceased from Fatehpur, Devi Lal Pal, were denied glimpse of their dear ones.”

According to Mr Bhiku Ram Verma, he had personally met the SSP last night who had assured him that as soon as the post-mortem was concluded, the bodies would be handed over to the families.

An FIR has been filed by the wife of the deceased, blaming Samajwadi MP Atiq Ahmad and his brother Ashraf for the attack. The first-time MLA, who had attended just one session of the Vidhan Sabha, was married a week ago.


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