Samajwadi Party leader Muhammad Azam was shot and injured by three motorcycle-borne men in the Karhal town of Uttar Pradesh’s Mainpuri district on Tuesday. Azam was dropping his daughter off at school when he was shot. A local reporter said he was not badly injured as the bullet just grazed him. He was taken to a hospital in Agra.

This is the second instance of violence in Karhal, which is just four kilometres away from Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's stronghold of Saifai. On October 9, a mob had almost lynched two Muslim men after rumours spread that they had slaughtered a cow. It was subsequently revealed as an attempt to trigger a riot.

Tuesday’s shooting incident is still shrouded in unknowns. No statements have been issued by Azam or his family. Local police officials, when contacted, refused to speak on the phone. It is also not clear who the attackers were. A Karhal local said Azam was active after the near-lynching incident and wanted everyone who engineered the riot to be arrested. A local reporter said the shooting could be “a message to him to stop zyada netagiri”.