The Uttar Pradesh Police have arrested a man accused of shooting another man in the presence of the police in Ballia, ANI reported on Sunday. Dhirendra Singh, the accused, was the the ex-president of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s local ex-servicemen unit.
“Dhirendra Singh and his accomplices were arrested from Lucknow today,” Inspector General of Police Special Task Force Amitabh Yash said. “They’re being questioned at an undisclosed location. Arms recovered from the possession of his accomplices. STF is gathering more information on the weapons used at the time of the incident.”
The police have so far arrested seven accused in the case, PTI reported. This includes three unidentified individuals. There are eight identified accused and 20-25 unidentified accused in the case.
The man, Jai Prakash, had died after bullets were fired during a meeting for allotment of shops under government quota in Durjanpur village of Ballia on Thursday. Witnesses said Singh shot Prakash thrice. Prakash’s family has expressed relief at Singh’s arrest, NDTV reported.
Singh filed a “surrender application” at a local court, which allows an accused to surrender directly before the court, the news network said.
After the shooting, BJP MLA Surendra Singh defended his party colleague, saying it was as an act of “self-defence” and accused the administration of “one-sided” investigation. Surendra Singh also claimed that had the accused not opened fire, dozens of his family members would have been killed.
On Saturday, the police had said they may invoke the National Security Act against Dhirendra Singh. “A cash reward of Rs 50,000 has been announced on each of the absconding accused,” Deputy Inspector General of Police of Azamgarh Range Subhash Chandra Dubey had said. “Action will also be initiated under the National Security Act and the Gangster Act against the accused.”
Under the National Security Act, a person can be detained for months if the authorities feel that the individual is a threat to national security, law and order. The government can also withhold information which it considers to be against public interest to disclose when providing the grounds for an arrest. Meanwhile, under Section 14 of the Gangster Act, a district magistrate can order attachment of a property if they have a reason to believe it has been acquired by a gangster as commission for an offence.
Priyanka Gandhi accuses BJP of supporting accused
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi, meanwhile, questioned the intentions of the Bharatiya Janata Party and accused the party of openly siding with the accused.
“With whom does the BJP government stand in the Ballia incident?”Gandhi tweeted. “According to reports, after killing in front of officers, the accused was in police custody but he escaped. Not caught yet The BJP MLA is openly standing with the accused.”
In a series of tweets, she also sought to know from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national president JP Nadda, if they too were supporting the BJP MLA. “If not, then why is he still with the BJP,” she asked.