Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has hit out at the ruling BJP in Uttar Pradesh, saying "this is not Ram Raj but Nathuram Raj". The former Chief Minister, who was fiercely critical of the Yogi Adityanath government, declared "with mob lynching, police lynching" had also started in the state. The comments came after he visited the family of a 28-year-old man who was shot dead by police earlier this week in an alleged encounter.
"What Ram Raj is going on in UP? This is not Ram Raj but Nathuram Raj. With mob lynching, police lynching has also started in the state," Akhilesh Yadav told reporters today, according to news agency PTI, after meeting the family of Pushpendra Yadav in Jhansi on Wednesday.
Pushpendra Yadav's wife had earlier appealed to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for help, stating that she would commit suicide if action is not taken against the guilty parties.
UP police claim Pushpendra Yadav ran a sand mining business and was shot dead on Sunday after he fired at a police inspector who had seized his truck used.
His family has alleged the officer in charge of the area, Dharmendra Chauhan, had demanded a bribe of Rs 1.5 lakh to release the truck and murdered Mr Yadav after he threatened to expose him.
State police have slammed what they called "false reporting" and threatened to file cases against such stories. However, discrepancies between statements made by the police officer who carried out the encounter and the police chief of Jhansi have emerged.
"There are many loopholes in the police story," Akhilesh Yadav said, adding that he had "no trust" in either UP Police or UP administration. He demanded a probe by a sitting High Court judge, saying, "It is not an encounter but a murder".
"We demand a probe by a sitting High Court judge. It is not an encounter but a murder. The police have made Pushpendra's brother, who is in the security forces and was on duty in Delhi, an accused in the case," he said.
Meanwhile, the BJP has hit back at the Samajwadi Party chief, mocking him for concern about the sand mafia and vote banks.
"It was an encounter but Akhilesh has to go to the person's house because he is in love with the sand mining mafia and has to take care of the caste equation. He does not care how the sand mining mafia should be eradicated. This is precisely why he was thrown out by people in elections," senior BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh said.
With input from PTI, IANS