Ballia firing: Court sends main accused to 14-day judicial custody
Dhirendra Pratap Singh allegedly shot dead Jai Prakash Pal Gama (46) on Thursday following a quarrel over the allotment of ration shops at Durjanpur village in Ballia’s Reoti area
A court in Balia sent Dhirendra Pratap Singh, a local BJP leader who allegedly killed a man following a quarrel over the allotment of ration shops last week, to 14-day judicial custody on Monday.
He was presented before the court around 10 am amid tight security.
The court has sent Dhirendra Pratap Singh to 14-day judicial custody, said his lawyer Harivansh Singh.
He said no bail plea has been moved so far.
Dhirendra Pratap Singh allegedly shot dead Jai Prakash Pal Gama (46) on Thursday following a quarrel over the allotment of ration shops at Durjanpur village in Ballia's Reoti area. Senior administration and police officials were present at the meeting when the incident took place.
After evading arrest for days, Singh was arrested by the UP Special Task Force from Lucknow on Sunday. A cash reward of Rs 50,000 had been announced for his arrest.
During interrogation, Singh told the police that he opened fire in self-defence, according to officials.
"DIG Azamgarh range Subhash Chandra Dubey interrogated Dhirendra Pratap Singh for nearly an hour, and he gave the details of the incident. He assured the police that he would help in the recovery of the weapon (used in the crime), and said that he had fired in self-defence," said SHO of Kotwali police station Vipin Singh.
He told police that around 2,000 people had gathered in the village on Thursday and there was a fracas over the allotment of ration shops, the SHO said.
The accused claimed that the other side started the quarrel and opened fire, injuring his nephew and five-six women of his family. His nephew later succumbed to his injuries, he added.
Singh also blamed the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) and the circle officer for the incident, the police said.
He alleged that the SDM colluded with the other side.
He claimed that initially the SDM had announced that the allotment of shops will be done on the basis of majority. But later he said only those having identity cards could take part in voting, according to the police.
The Uttar Pradesh government has already suspended the SDM, the circle officer and other policemen present at the spot.
Besides Singh, four others -- Santosh Yadav, Amarjeet Yadav, Ajay Singh and Dharmendra Singh -- were arrested in connection with the case from Ballia on Sunday.
Meanwhile, BJP MLA from the state's Bairia assembly constituency Surendra Singh came out in support of Dhirendra Pratap Singh.
He said he will try to meet Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and present his side of the story.
He also said he will seek an impartial probe into the incident by the CB-CID.
The Bairia MLA said while the person who fired bullets has been arrested, action should also be taken against those who wielded sticks and pelted stones.
"A case should also be registered from the other side (Dhirendra Pratap Singh). Action should be taken against both sides as per their role," he said.
On Sunday, BJP workers held a meeting in Bairia over the incident, with one of them demanding a CBI probe in the case. They alleged that the police are working in a biased manner.
The BJP workers threatened to resign from the party if a case from Dhirendra Pratap Singh's side is not registered within two days.
So far, police have arrested 10 people in the case, in which an FIR has been lodged against around 30 people, most of whom are yet to be identified.
The Uttar Pradesh Police had on Saturday said it would invoke the stringent National Security Act (NSA) and the Gangsters Act against the accused.
Under the NSA, one can be detained without a charge for up to 12 months if authorities are satisfied that the person is a threat to national security or law and order.
Under the UP Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, a district magistrate can order attachment of property, whether movable or immovable, if there is a reason to believe that it has been acquired as a commission for an offence triable under this law.