New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The BJP MLA from Uttar Pradesh's Ballia, whose aide allegedly gunned down a man in presence of sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) and circle officer (CO), has come out in defence of the accused, claiming that he opened fire in self-defence. 

"The incident is very upsetting, it should not have taken place but I condemn the one-sided investigation of administration. Nobody is looking at the pain of six women who have been injured in the incident. Dhirendra Singh fired in self-defence" said Surendra Singh, the BJP legislator from Bairia assembly seat of Ballia. 

"If he wouldn't have fired then dozens of his relatives would've been killed. Wrongdoers should be punished under law. What happened shouldn't have happened but police should also act against other group which attacked women with sticks, iron rods," he added.

On Thursday, a man was shot dead after Dheerendra Singh allegedly opened fire in front of local administrative officials over a dispute at a meeting for selection of ration shops in Ballia district. 

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered the suspension of the sub divisional magistrate (SDM), circle officer and all other policemen present at the spot in Durjanpur village in Ballia's Reoti area.

Jai Prakash (46) was shot dead allegedly by Dhirendra Pratap Singh after the SDM decided not to go ahead with the meeting due to a dispute between members of self-help groups, Superintendent of Police Devendra Nath said.

Bairia MLA Surendra Singh confirmed that Singh heads the BJP's ex-servicemen's unit in Ballia district.

"This is a casualty that can happen anywhere. In this incident, there was stone-pelting from both sides. The law will take its own course in the matter," the BJP legislator said.

Police registered an FIR naming four and mentioning 15-20 unnamed people on the basis of a complaint filed by Chandrama, the victim's brother. While Dhirendra Singh escaped, his brother Devendra Singh has been arrested.

The meeting was held in a tent, where a large number of people gathered. The administration and police officials were also present there, local residents said.

A video clip showed a group of people running about in a field in panic as shots are heard.

"Taking a serious note of the incident, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath directed that the SDM, CO and all police personnel present at the spot be suspended immediately and strictest action taken against the accused," Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi said in Lucknow.

He said the role of the officers will be investigated and if they are found responsible criminal action will follow.

A sizeable police force has been deployed in the village to maintain law and order, the Ballia SP said.

Meanwhile, opposition parties, including the Samajwadi party and the Congress attacked the ruling BJP as they called the incident an example of "breakdown" of law and order in the state.

(With PTI inputs)

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta