A BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh who strongly defends an aide accused of shooting a man in public in Ballia last week has been asked by the party leader for an explanation. Sources say BJP chairman JP Nadda also warned the party’s UP leader about the conduct of BJP deputy Surendra Singh.
The BJP’s notification to the MLA comes four days after his aide, former soldier Dhirendra Singh, allegedly shot dead a villager during a Panchayat meeting attended by officials and police.
Dhirendra Singh, missing since Thursday’s shooting, was arrested yesterday. He was caught on the highway after filing a surrender request, apparently to avoid police questioning.
Surendra Singh, a deputy for Ballia, has defended the alleged murderer since the incident and even claimed to have shot the villager, Jai Prakash, in “self-defense”. He also attacked the police and the UP administration for a “unilateral investigation”
Sources say the BJP chairman called the party’s UP leader Swatantra Dev Singh and warned him “strongly” of the MP’s behavior. Mr. Nadda ordered him to serve a show cause notice on Surendra Singh and allegedly warned against action if he attempted to interfere with the investigation.
The MLA claimed that the accused Dhirendra Singh heads a local BJP unit made up of former soldiers.
Singh shot Jai Prakash, 46, three times after an argument broke out between the two during a village meeting over the allocation of ration shops on Thursday. Despite the presence of officials and cops, he escaped.
Surendra Singh has made a series of shocking statements after the incident. He first said that such a victim could “happen anywhere”. Then the BJP MP said: “I condemn the tragic incident but I also condemn the administration’s unilateral investigation. If Dhirendra Singh had not fired in self-defense, dozens of his family members would have been killed. . He had no alternative but to marne aur maarne (to die or to kill). “
The victim’s family subsequently alleged that due to pressure from the ruling party deputy, local police were trying to trick them into using false accusations.
While on the run, Dhirendra Singh posted a video saying he warned the police about the violence during the meeting and asked them to put additional security in place, but they did not.