One person was killed while two were critically injured when a former village head, Shiv Shankar alias Bhurey Singh, and his henchmen opened indiscriminate fire on rival Bhim Singh and his supporters at a panchayat in Dakshin ka Pura locality in Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh district.
Azamgarh SP Anurag Arya said that a dispute between two groups took ugly turn during a panchayat convened to decide the beneficiary of a government housing scheme after which Bhurey and his supporters opened indiscriminate fire.
“Himanshu Singh (32), Pradeep Singh Bhim (40), and Tavendra Singh Munna (38), suffered bullet injuries. They were rushed to the district hospital. In view of the critical condition of Himanshu, doctors referred him to a Varanasi hospital where he died.”
“Five persons have been taken in custody so far. Four teams have been deputed to arrest Bhurey and his accomplices, who managed to escape after opening fire during the panchayat,” the SP said.
In initial investigation, it came to light that a meeting was in progress to finalise the list of beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Rural).
Former village head Bhurey was present at the meeting along with his henchmen. His political rival Bhim along with Himanshu and Munna was also present there.
Bhim and his supporters alleged that Bhurey had ensured inclusion of the names of his close ones in the list of beneficiaries from which the names of genuine persons of the village were excluded.
Following an exchange of heated words, Bhurey and Bhim came face to face and Bhurey and his supporters opened indiscriminate fire with their licenced guns on Bhim and others.
The police said that Himanshu suffered bullet injuries in chest. Bhim and Munna, too, suffered bullet injuries.
After the firing, the assailants fled the scene. On getting information of the incident, Mehnajpur police reached there and rushed the injured persons to a local hospital.
Later, Arya along with other officials reached the spot. A car of assailants was seized by the police at the incident site while five persons were taken in custody for interrogation.
Arya said, “Raids were being carried out at all possible hideouts of the assailants and they would be nabbed very soon.”