BSP man killed as violence continues in UP despite appeals

A BSP activist was killed in a clash in Uttar Pradesh's Hardoi district as violence by Samajwadi Party workers continued across the state on Saturday, despite appeals and warnings by the party leadership including Chief Minister-designate Akhilesh Yadav.

Clashes were reported in the state's Pratapgarh district and in Moradabad after a newly-elected party legislator's car knocked down and severely injured a police constable.

While police officials refused to be drawn into the political aspects, Assistant Director General of Police (Law & Order) Subesh Singh confirmed the incidents and said follow-up action was being taken.

"A clash between two political parties has been reported and a person has died," he said.

After the clash in Sandila area of Hardoi, adjoining Lucknow, eight people, said to be close to a Samajwadi Party gram pradhan had been detained. The incident has led to tension in the area.

In Pratapgarh, the pocket borough of Samajwadi Party-supported independent legislator Raghuraj Pratap Singh aka Raja Bhaiyya, a group of Samajwadi Party supporters beat up some Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) workers here. Police intervened to restore peace, an official said.

In another incident, the official car of the newly-elected Bisauli legislator, Ashutosh Arya, mowed down a police constable in the Billari area.

Arya's wife and some relatives were in the car when the incident happened and the car was being driven by their personal driver.

The constable was taken to a nearby medical facility where he is battling for his life. When other policemen, who rushed to the accident spot, tried to detain the driver, Samajwadi Party supporters got into a heated argument with them and tried to stop them.

Clashes and violence by Samajwadi Party workers have been reported from different parts of the state since Tuesday when the party stormed back to power with 224 seats in the 403-member assembly.

Both party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav on Friday summoned Chief Secretary Anoop Mishra and police chief Atul Kumar and directed them to crack down on hooligan elements, even if they belonged to their party.

Tuesday, the day the party swept to power in the state, celebratory gunfire in Sambhal left a 13-year-old boy dead. In Firozabad, party workers pelted stones at policemen and injured one man, who died the next day of a gunshot wound.

On Wednesday, a group of reporters was held hostage in Jhansi, while in Sitapur district, adjoining Lucknow, party workers had set on fire a hutment, where supporters of an Independent candidate lived.

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