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HindustanTimes Sat,12 Jul 2014

SP candidate displays muscle despite restrictions

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Lucknow, December 16, 2013
First Published: 23:15 IST(16/12/2013) | Last Updated: 23:19 IST(16/12/2013)

Uttar Pradesh director general of police has ordered superintendent of police of Sultanpur to inquire into how history sheeter and Samajwadi Party's Lok Sabha candidate Atiq Ahmed organised a public meeting in the constituency on Sunday despite restrictions under Section 144.

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Atiq had visited Sultanpur along with his supporters and gun-toting security guards in a massive cavalcade of about 400 vehicles and later addressed a gathering.

In his order, director general of police Deo Raj Nagar has directed Sultanpur superintendent of police to study the pictures and videos of the rally, which appeared in print and electronic media.

The action against the district administration officials would be decided on the basis of the report to be submitted by the police, said inspector general of police (STF) Ashish Gupta.

It was learnt Atiq's visit caused panic in the area, as the people were forced to give way to the cavalcade.

The SP on December 6 named Atiq as the party's candidate for Sultanpur seat in place of Shakeel Ahmed, whose name had been announced earlier.

Atiq, 51, has been facing trial in as many as 35 criminal cases, including murders, and has been out on bail since February 2012 after spending four years in prison.

He won the 2004 Lok Sabha election from the Phulpur seat before the SP threw him out a year before his term was over. Though the Election Commission had allowed Atiq to run for the 2009 Lok Sabha election since he had not been convicted, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati had refused him the ticket.

Atiq then turned to the Apna Dal and contested from Pratapgarh seat but lost.

Justifying his candidature, SP spokesman Rajendra Chowdhary had said, "He will win the seat. How can he be called a criminal until any of the allegations or charges is proved? He has not been convicted in any case."

A party source said his "winnablity" factor worked in Atiq's favour. Besides, there had been feedback from the local unit that Shakeel's chances of victory were slim.


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