M A I N   N E W S

Samajwadi MP, brother held for MLAís murder
Shahira Naim & Agencies
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, November 30
Life in eastern Uttar Pradesh was disrupted following widespread protests, violence and arson in several districts by supporters of slain BJP MLA from Ghazipur Krishnanand Rai yesterday.

The worst was the MLAís own district of Ghazipur. The impact of BJPís call for Purvanchal bandh were visible in varying degrees in the districts of Azamgarh, Mau, Jaunpur, Ballia, Varanasi, Deoria and Ghazipur.

An FIR was lodged in Ghazipur this evening against 10 persons, including Samajwadi Party MP from Ghazipur Afzal Ansari and his brother and controversial Independent MLA Mukhtar Ansari, in connection with the killing of BJP legislator Krishnanand Rai and six others in a sensational shootout.

According to police sources, Munna Bajrangi, a notorious gangster active in eastern UP, and some relatives of Ansaris had also been named in the FIR.

Sources said the case was lodged after the family members of the slain BJP MLA expressed apprehension about the involvement of Ansari brothers.

Mr Mukhtar, known political adversary of Rai, is in jail in connection with Mau riots, while Afzal was defeated by the slain MLA in the last UP assembly poll.

The body of Rai was taken to Varanasi for last rites immediately after the postmortem. Varanasi has been tense since last evening as BJP supporters came out on the streets protesting against the death of a sitting party MLA. The district administration ordered closure of schools and colleges as a precautionary measure. Senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh is on a dharna there to demand Presidentís rule.

The widespread arson in Ghazipur following the MLAís death along with his gunner and five supporters led to the transfer of SSP Mukesh Babu Shukla and suspension of the Bhawarkol station officer today. Task Force SSP Akhil Kumar has been posted as the new SSP of Ghazipur. He recently shot into fame for killing dreaded dacoit Nirbhay Gujjar in a well-planned encounter.

This is the second transfer of an SSP following violence within a week.

While sporadic violence was witnessed in all districts, Ghazipur saw complete disruption of railway traffic. Angry supporters of the slain MLA held up railway traffic at Yusufpur station.

The Station Master of the Dhudadi railway station was beaten up and his room completely ransacked, informed Mr Sinha. An FIR had been lodged. Similarly in Deoria around 50 to 60 protesters sat on the rail track disrupting traffic for hours.


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