Ballia shooting case: After party leadership’s snub, BJP MLA to stay out of district for a few days

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) controversial lawmaker Surendra Singh would stay away from eastern Uttar Pradesh’s (UP) Ballia district for a couple of days amid reports that the top brass in the party’s state unit has asked him to steer clear following the murder of a villager last Thursday.

Surendra’s aide and a BJP member, Dheerendra Pratap Singh, is the main accused in the murder case.

“I shall stay in Lucknow for a couple of days,” Surendra said without ascribing any reason for his absence from Ballia district.

Surendra was summoned to Lucknow on Sunday by Swatantra Dev Singh, the chief of the BJP’s UP unit, and Sunil Bansal, general secretary (organisation), UP.

Also read: ‘I’m being framed,’ alleges main accused in Ballia shooting case

“The legislator (Surendra) has been told to stay away from the case and not to make any statements,” a BJP leader said.

The outspoken lawmaker admitted that he was asked to lie low by the party’s state unit leadership.

“I was asked not to make any statements in the case. I only wanted to ensure that both sides are heard,” he said.

“I also told the leadership that I wanted the accused to be punished,” he added.

The BJP didn’t issue any statement about him.

“He (Surendra) was summoned and snubbed by the party leadership,” said a BJP leader, who is privy to the developments in the case.

The snub came hours after the UP Special Task Force (STF) arrested Dheerendra from Lucknow. On Monday, Dheerendra was sent to a 14-day judicial custody in Ballia district.

Surendra had admitted that Dheerendra was his aide and a BJP member. He had also approached the police claiming that a counter first information report (FIR) be filed by Dheerendra’s family members in the murder case.

Dheerendra had allegedly shot a villager (46) dead during a meeting in the presence of state government officials following a dispute over an allocation of two fair price shops at Durjanpur village in Ballia district on Thursday.

On Friday, Surendra, who represents Bairia assembly constituency in Ballia district, had said that Dheerendra was compelled to open fire in self-defence.

He had claimed that had Dheerendra not opened fire, several of his family members, including women, would have been killed in a stone-pelting incident by angry villagers on Thursday.

On Saturday, Surendra visited Revati police station in Ballia and demanded that an FIR be lodged based on the plea moved by Dheerendra’s female relatives who, he alleged, had sustained injuries due to stone-pelting.

“I am carrying medical reports of five of Dheerendra’s relatives, who were injured in the stone-pelting incident,” the MLA said before his meeting with the UP BJP’s top brass on Sunday.

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