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Ballia: BJP man is booked for smuggling cattle, worker dies in clash

The protests started after the police recovered a truck carrying cattle from Mathia village of Balia on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday.

Written by Ishita Mishra | Agra |
August 13, 2016 6:41:35 pm

A BJP worker was booked for cattle smuggling after the police seized a truck carrying three cows and two calves in Ballia district early on Friday morning. The same evening, local party MLA Upendra Tiwari led protests outside the Narhi police station in Ballia. As BJP workers clashed with the police, a party office-bearer was killed, allegedly in police firing.

According to police, a team led by Sub-Inspector Premshankar Upadhyay stopped a truck carrying three cows and two calves at Mathia village at around 1.30 am on Friday. While the driver and another person, suspected to be BJP worker Chandrama Yadav, fled, the police seized the truck.

Ballia SP Manoj Kumar Jha said BJP MLA Upendra Tiwari reached the police station on Friday, accompanied by other party workers, and alleged that the police team had forcibly brought the cows and calves from Yadav’s house. He demanded that the FIR against Yadav be quashed, and the cattle released.

BJP district president Vinod Dubey and vice-president Surya Dev Rai were also present, police said.

Jha said he went to the police station and tried to pacify Tiwari and his supporters, but they went on a rampage in the evening, damaging vehicles and throwing stones at the policemen. The police first resorted to a lathicharge, but when the protests continued, they fired in the air.

“After the lathicharge, the mob started firing. Police retaliated, and fired to disperse the mob,” said SO, Narhi police station, Rajesh Yadav.

One of the protesters, Vinod Rai, BJP block-level treasurer, died after sustaining a bullet injury. Eight other protesters were reportedly injured in the clash.

“The man died due to a bullet injury, but who shot him will be ascertained after an autopsy,” said DIG, Azamgarh, Dharamveer. He said an FIR has been lodged against the BJP MLA and 400 others for rioting.

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Meanwhile, hundreds of BJP workers led by local MP Bharat Singh blocked NH-31 on Saturday afternoon, protesting against Rai’s death. They ended the protest after Jha suspended SO Rajesh Yadav.

“We have lodged an FIR against MLA Upendra Tiwari, other BJP office-bearers and unidentified persons for indulging in violence. Another FIR was lodged against Chandrama Yadav for cattle smuggling,” said the SP.

Jha said Tiwari claimed that Yadav had purchased the cattle from a cattle fair. When asked to produce the receipts, he was unable to do so. Both Yadav and the truck driver are still absconding.

Tiwari and other BJP office-bearers could not contacted. State BJP president Keshav Prasad Maurya held a meeting on Saturday, where it was decided that a nine-member panel of party leaders would visit Ballia on Sunday to probe the incident. The panel, led by Rajya Sabha member Shiv Pratap Shukla, comprises five MPs, an MLA, a former MLA and two state office-bearers. The panel will submit its report to Maurya.

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