BSP leader, two others die in Azamgarh violence

Lucknow, July 19 (IANS) BSP leader and former legislator Sarvesh Singh was shot dead Friday with his guard at Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh, sparking violence that left a businessman dead allegedly in police firing.

Hundreds of supporters of Sarvesh Singh alias Sippi took to the streets screaming anti-government slogans, attacking police posts and setting fire to scores of vehicles following the killing of Sarvesh Singh.

As the violence spread, shops and businesses got closed across the town, about 270 km from Lucknow.

Police initially said the killers barged into his house and opened fire at the Bahujan Samaj Party leader, who was earlier in the Samajwadi Party, and his guard Bharat Rai, killing both instantly.

But it later transpired that three men on a motorcycle fired at Sarvesh Singh and Bharat Rai a few metres away from a police station.

His supporters accused a police inspector of summoning him to the police station. Sarvesh Singh was shot dead while returning home.

Unable to control the mobs, police fired at the crowd, killing a businessman, Jitendra Gupta, witnesses said. Two civilians, including a journalist were injured.

But police insisted that Gupta was not killed in their firing. Inspector General of Police R.K. Vishwakarma said the autopsy will confirm the exact cause of Gupta's death.

A dozen policemen were reportedly injured in brickbatting. The violence subsided later but tension prevailed in the town.

Sarvesh Singh was a Samajwadi Party legislator in 2007 but quit it when Amar Singh was expelled. His father Ram Pyare Singh was a minister in the former Mulayam Singh Yadav government.

Late in the evening, the family of the slain legislator and others squatted on the roads with the bodies and refused to hand them over to the police for post-mortem.

They demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Police believe the killing may have been ordered by mafia don Puttu Singh, now lodged in a Varanasi jail.

After his father's death, Sarvesh Singh contested from Sagdi assembly seat in 2007 and won.

BSP chief Mayawati gave him the party ticket from Sadar and fielded his brother from Sagadi last year. Both lost.

Sarvesh Singh had petitioned the police about threats to his life. He was given security for a brief period but that was withdrawn later.

Owing to the tension in Azamgarh, additional forces have been rushed from Jaunpur, Ghazipur, Gorakhpur and other neighbouring districts.

BSP leader Naseemuddin Siddiqui told IANS that the "worst fears" of his party were turning true.

"Our party leader Mayawati has said that criminals are ruling the roost in the state and that nobody is safe," he said.

Political parties said the killing was proof that Uttar Pradesh was in the grip of "jungle raj".

State Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Laxmikant Bajpai warned that the Samajwadi Party regime would pay for the law and order mess in the next election.

"Rapes have become the order of the day. Gang wars are taking place, and now even senior politicians are being killed in broad daylight," Bajpai told IANS.

BSP's Swamy Prasad Maurya said it was the "misfortune of the people of Uttar Pradesh" that the state had such "a pathetic government".

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Pietersen to miss Delhi's first game

Pietersen to miss Delhi's first game

The former England batsman will have to wait lead the franchise as he is out of the match against Bangalore with a finger injury. More »

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

New-look RCB will play their first game of IPL-7 on Thursday. More »

IPL: News Line

IPL: News Line

A round-up of all the news from this season of the IPL. More »

Shane Watson issues moral warning

Shane Watson issues moral warning

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

Nepal players call off boycott

Nepal players call off boycott

Thaw in relations after formation of an advisory committee that would work in tandem with the Cricket Association of Nepal. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

There's a lot going on: Fleming

There's a lot going on: Fleming

He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the… More »

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Former Pakistan cricket captain Rashid Latif said Tuesday he turned down the job of national chief selector because he could not work with ex-players tainted… More »

We are not over-confident: Bailey

We are not over-confident: Bailey

Indian Premier League — George Bailey-led Kings XI Punjab will face Chennai Super Kings on Friday. More »

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Their main concern, once again, is the fast bowling More »

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

MoU between BCCI & its units to avoid double taxation delayed after a few decline to share details. More »

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

New Zealand selectors included two new caps in a 15-man Test squad named Tuesday to tour the West Indies, with injury-hit spinner Dan Vettori's future… More »

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The Preview — Defending champions Mumbai Indians take on Kolkata Knight Riders More »

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

He was aggrieved by the allegations against him during the hearing. More »

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Michael Klinger has revealed he felt compelled to leave South Australia after being told he would be only a fringe part of the Redbacks' plans for next season, and disputed the suggestion that he left… More »

India: cricket's Brazil

India: cricket's Brazil

They are tough to beat with a big talent base exposed to good facilities. (CYCSPL) More »

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Franchises are doing their bit to refurbish the image of the tainted league. More »

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

The revival of Indo-Pak Test ties could take place in UAE. More »

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

'This time around we will hope to go few more steps ahead and actually get that trophy' More »