Tension prevailed in Mawana a day after the recovery of the bullet-riddled body of a former councillor on Friday. Additional forces and PAC was deployed in the town to avert any untoward incident.
Former councillor Zahid was a leader of the ruling Samajwadi Party. The state government had nominated him as councillor two years ago. He had also contested the election of town area chairman last year but lost.
Cabinet minister Shahid Manzoor, district president of Samajwadi Party Jaiveer Singh and state president of the party’s students wing Atul Pradhan visited the family of Zahid.
Zahid’s last rites were performed on Saturday morning amid tight security. Police have lodged a case against unidentified assailants on the basis of a complaint by Suleman, the brother of the deceased.
While the leaders of the ruling party visited Zahid’s family, BJP MP from Bijnor-Hastinapur Kunwar Bhartendra Singh met the people whose property and vehicles were damaged in the violence that erupted after the murder.
“Circumstantial evidence indicates that the violence was planned,” claimed Singh who demanded immediate action against the rioters and examination of chemicals used in igniting fire. “The arsonists used a red substance to ignite the fire,” the MP said and demanded that a search operation should be carried out in the area.
The police have also rounded up a few people for interrogation. “We are trying to collect inputs about the miscreants who were involved in arson,” said circle officer of Mawana Abdul Qadir.
Zahid’s supporters went on the rampage on Friday evening and blocked Meerut-Mawana road for three hours demanding the arrest of the assailants. They attacked the police, damaged the vehicle of SP (Rrural) Praveen Ranjan and an ambulance.