BJP raps party MLA Surendra Singh for defending Ballia shooting accused

The BJP leadership in Uttar Pradesh called party MLA Surendra Singh to the state capital on Sunday and disapproved of his statements and his act of defending the main accused in the Ballia shootout case.

The development came hours after the Special Task Force (STF) arrested the main accused, Dheerendra Pratap Singh, from Lucknow.

In the evening, the lawmaker met UP BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh and state general secretary (organisation) Sunil Bansal at the party office in Lucknow and was rebuked by the leadership, said party leaders requesting anonymity.

Before meeting the party leaders, Surendra Singh maintained that he had come to the party office to present his side of the story. Singh is known for making controversial remarks.

However, after the meeting, Surendra Singh wasn’t reachable.

“He is doing his puja and won’t be reachable for the next one hour. Please call after that,” one of his aides said while confirming that the meeting had happened. The aide, however, refused to disclose the details.

Earlier in the day, Surendra Singh said over the phone, “Yes, I have been called to Lucknow. I will present a true account of the incident. I will tell him (UP BJP chief) about a series of incidents which led to the chaos during the meeting (at Durjanpur village in Ballia) and the unfortunate incident.”

He claimed that the true account of the incident was not being presented by the media. “If the media presented a true account, the women would get justice,” he said.

On Thursday, Dheerendra Pratap Singh allegedly shot a 46-year-old man dead in an open meeting in the presence of officials after a dispute over allocation of two fair price shops in Durjanpur village of Ballia.

On Friday, the BJP MLA, who represents Bairia assembly constituency in Ballia, had said that Dheerendra had fired in self-defence. He had claimed that had Dheerendra not opened fire, dozens of women of his family would have been killed in the incident.

On Saturday, Surendra Singh visited Revati police station in Ballia and demanded that an FIR should be registered based on the application moved by Dheerendra Singh’s female relatives who, he alleged, sustained injuries in stone-pelting during the Thursday incident. He also took them to the district hospital and got their medical examination done.

“I am carrying with me the medical reports of five women (Dheerendra’s relatives) who were injured in the stone-pelting incident,” the MLA said before his meeting with the state BJP leadership on Sunday.

Meanwhile, family members of Jaiprakash Pal who was allegedly shot dead by Dheerendra Singh, said that supporters of the accused were trying to frame them in a case.

Pal’s elder brother Suraj Pal said, “Some people are trying to implicate us in a case. Be it the local MLA, or the supporters of the main accused, they are trying to implicate our family in a case. The government should help us. Jaiprakash used to manage the expenses of the family. The government should give a government job to a member of the family or should provide monetary assistance.”

Suraj Pal also said that the family members heaved a sigh of relief as the main accused was arrested and demanded exemplary punishment for him.

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