Amethi (Uttar Pradesh) [India] May 26 (ANI): A close aide of newly elected BJP MP Smriti Irani was allegedly shot dead by unidentified assailants early Sunday in Baraulia village of Uttar Pradesh's Amethi district. Seven persons have been detained for questioning in connection with the killing, police said, not ruling out political rivalry as a possible motive.
BJP leader Surendra Singh, a close associate of Irani and former village head was shot at by unidentified assailants when he was sleeping in the verandah of his house at around 3 am on Sunday. He was rushed to a trauma centre in Lucknow where he succumbed, police said.
OP Singh, DGP, Uttar Pradesh told ANI: "Intensive investigations are underway. Seven people have been detained for questioning. Apart from this, three companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) have been deputed."Singh further said that the police is confident of solving the case within the next 12 hours. "We have found vital clues through electronic surveillance. We're confident of solving the case in the next 12 hours".
"The postmortem of the victim is underway in Lucknow. We will later go through the report, which we hope will fetch us important details related to the case," he further added.
According to the DGP, there is a possibility of further arrests and said the police is looking into all aspects of the killing, including political rivalry.
Surendra Singh's son alleged the role of Congress supporters in the killing of his father.
"My father was a close aide of Smriti Irani and campaigned 24 by 7 in the Lok Sabha elections. After she was elected as an MP, a victory procession was taken out. I believe some Congress supporters didn't like it. We have suspicions on some people," Singh's son said here.
Some relatives of Singh have also indicated that his murder could be a fallout of a political rivalry, including the recently concluded general election in which Irani trounced Congress president Rahul Gandhi from the Nehru-Gandhi bastion with a margin of 55, 000 votes.
Smriti Irani has left for her constituency from New Delhi to meet Singh's family.
Uttar Pradesh cabinet minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi condemned the attack and demanded strong action against the culprits. "There is no place for violence in democracy. Those who committed this act should be punished and stringent action should be taken against them," she said. (ANI)