Smriti Irani Aide Shot Dead In Amethi

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Amethi: A close aide of Smriti Irani, the newly elected MP from Amethi Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh, was shot dead by two men, with police not ruling out the possibility of it being a “political murder”.

Surendra Singh (50), a former head of Baraulia village, was shot at around 11.30pm Saturday, said Additional Superintendent of Police Daya Ram.

Singh was referred to a Lucknow hospital but he succumbed during treatment, Ram said. Two suspects have been detained for questioning, police said.

Expressing grief over Singh’s death, Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said, “The death of a party worker is indeed very sad and unfortunate. He was a hard worker. Even if his killers are hiding below the ground, they will be caught. The entire Amethi is sad over the incident.”

UP minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi said there’s no place for violence in a democracy and demanded strict action against the killers.

Baraulia, the village Singh once headed, was in the news during the general election campaign after Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra accused Irani of distributing shoes to the village residents in order to insult Rahul Gandhi, the BJP leader’s main opponent in the constituency.

Irani defeated the Congress president on Amethi seat, for long a Gandhi family bastion, in this Lok Sabha election.

BJP convenor for Amethi Lok Sabha seat Rajesh Agrahari told PTI, “Considering the fact that the Congress is disappointed, especially after the defeat of its party president in Amethi, a high-level probe should be ordered, and the guilty should be punished.”

“Surendra Singh was a popular and active grassroots level leader, and a close aide of MP Smriti Irani. He and other party leaders were actively involved in distribution of shoes,” he added.

Amethi Superintendent of Police Rajesh Kumar did not rule out the possibility of the crime being a political murder. “The incident cannot be ruled out to be a political murder. All aspects are being probed. There can be old enmity as well,” the SP said.