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Jaunpur IJP candidate murdered
Mulayam calls it ‘curtain-raiser’
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

Cong MLA shot dead in MP

Bhind: Makhan Lal Jatav, the Congress MLA from the Gohad constituency here was shot dead by unidentified assailants on Monday. The MLA was fired upon at close range by the assailants when he was coming after addressing an election meeting at Cheheta village in favour of the Congress nominee from Bhind, Dr Bhagirath Prasad, police said. Soon after the incident, the MLA was rushed to a private hospital in Gwalior for treatment. But after his arrival there, doctors pronounced him dead, they said. — PTI

Lucknow, April 13
Mayawati party’s claim of ensuring free and fair elections in the state was exposed today as an Indian Justice Party (IJP) candidate from Jaunpur Bahadur Sonkar was murdered last night, allegedly by the “goons” of the Jaunpur BSP candidate.

Late in the evening, a state government press note announced the ordering of a high-level inquiry into the death of the candidate “under suspicious circumstances”.

Additional Director-General of Police Padman Singh, who will head the inquiry, rushed to Jaunpur by a chopper. “The state government has directed the team to hold an impartial inquiry, so that those found guilty prima facie could be put behind the bars immediately,” the release stated.

IJP president Udit Raj has demanded the immediate dismissal of the state government, an inquiry by the CBI and countermanding of the election in Jaunpur.

Meanwhile, tension mounted in the area, as a large number of people, who did not want to hand over the body to the police, gathered there.

However, later the police sent the body for a postmortem. An FIR has been lodged against unknown persons in this regard.

The SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav has demanded the immediate arrest of the BSP candidate, who is a known criminal and has many criminal cases registered against him.

The slain IJP candidate was reportedly receiving threats from the city circle officer, Upendra Chaudhury and had even sent a fax in this regard to the CEC in New Delhi, the Lucknow EC, DGP, Chief Secretary, Superintendent of Police and the Jaunpur DM.

Confirming that his office had received a complaint from Sonkar, Chief Electoral Officer AK Bishnoi said the report sought from the District Magistrate was awaited.

Bishnoi said the body was recovered from Raja Saheb Pokhla under the Line Bazar police station and the postmortem report was expected soon. The IJP state president, Kalicharan, said he had called a press conference on April 10 in this regard to share the immense pressure being put on the candidate from the police, district administration, EC and the state government’s non-action in the case.

“We had demanded security for our candidate which was ignored”, he charged.

“On April 8, Sonkar had received at least 10 phone calls from the circle officer who wanted to meet him immediately. When Sonkar said he would meet him in the evening, Chaudhury had insisted that he meet him before 2 pm as he wanted Sonkar to withdraw in the favour of the BSP candidate”, Kalicharan alleged.

The candidate’s brother, Babulal Sonkar, claimed that men reportedly close to the BSP candidate came to their residence and forcibly took him away around 2.30 am today. Later, his body was found hanging on a tree almost a km away from their residence. At a hurriedly called press conference, senior BSP leader Babu Singh Kushwaha blamed the Samajwadi Party for eliminating the IJP candidate, as they wanted to create confusion before the polls.

Refuting the charge, Yadav said, “The police, administration and the government is with the BSP so I wonder how they can blame my party for this. “This is a curtain-raiser of things to come during the elections”, Yadav warned.

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