I am under constant threat from political rivals: Kamlesh Paswan

  • Rajesh Kumar Singh, Hindustan Times, Gorakhpur
  • Updated: Oct 02, 2013 16:56 IST
  • Vijay Kumar Singh, a former zilla panchayat president, along with his armed security guards at his office in Kaiserganj in Gonda district. Singh says he needs protection from his political rivals. (Ashok Dutta/ HT Photo)

    Armed and ready in UP

    Vijay Kumar Singh, a former zilla panchayat president, along with his armed security guards at his office in Kaiserganj in Gonda district. Singh says he needs protection...

  • Guns are a matter of pride and not just protection in Uttar Pradesh. In this picture, a family in a village near Etah flaunt rifles and revolvers at their home. Children get a chance to hold weapons too. (Vipin Kumar/ HT photo)

    Armed and ready in UP

    Guns are a matter of pride and not just protection in Uttar Pradesh. In this picture, a family in a village near Etah flaunt rifles and revolvers at their home. Children...

  • An agent displays a countrymade pistol in a village in Etah. Guns come as cheap as a few thousand rupees in UP. (Vipin Kumar/HT photo)

    Armed and ready in UP

    An agent displays a countrymade pistol in a village in Etah. Guns come as cheap as a few thousand rupees in UP. (Vipin Kumar/HT photo)

  • Children of a village near Etah show their family gun. In Uttar Pradesh, private individuals possess more weapons than the police. (Vipin Kumar/ HT photo)

    Armed and ready in UP

    Children of a village near Etah show their family gun. In Uttar Pradesh, private individuals possess more weapons than the police. (Vipin Kumar/ HT photo)

  • A craftsman fits the barrel of a countrymade pistol in an illegal factory. There is no official estimate but illegal gun factories are spread across Uttar Pradesh. (HT photo)

    Armed and ready in UP

    A craftsman fits the barrel of a countrymade pistol in an illegal factory. There is no official estimate but illegal gun factories are spread across Uttar Pradesh. (HT...

  • A craftsman examines the diameter and quality of a barrel before fitting it into an illegal pistol. Countrymade weapons cost little and are available easily in UP. (HT Photo)

    Armed and ready in UP

    A craftsman examines the diameter and quality of a barrel before fitting it into an illegal pistol. Countrymade weapons cost little and are available easily in UP. (HT...

  • Villagers with their arms in a field near Aliganj in Etah, Uttar Pradesh. Farmers say they need guns because gangsters threaten them. (Vipin Kumar/ HT Photo)

    Armed and ready in UP

    Villagers with their arms in a field near Aliganj in Etah, Uttar Pradesh. Farmers say they need guns because gangsters threaten them. (Vipin Kumar/ HT Photo)

  • In UP, even sadhus wield guns. Mahanth Janmejay Sharan, president of Ramjanambhoomi Mandir Nirman Nyas in Ayodhya, has a licenced pistol and a double barrel gun. He says he fears a rival. (Ashok Dutta/HT Photo)

    Armed and ready in UP

    In UP, even sadhus wield guns. Mahanth Janmejay Sharan, president of Ramjanambhoomi Mandir Nirman Nyas in Ayodhya, has a licenced pistol and a double barrel gun. He says...

Early morning on July 19, 2013, the doctors at Jiyanpur health centre in Azamgarh are trying to calm the family members of former Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA Sarvesh Singh alias Sipu as his assistants are pushing the stretcher carrying the bulletriddled leader inside the emergency ward.



In a few minutes, Dr Arun Kumar comes out to inform the family that Singh is dead. Around a dozen bullets have pierced through his body damaging his vital organs, he announces.

Three unidentified assailants had fired on him while he was standing on the verandah of his house with a security guard Brijesh Rai. Both succumbed to their injuries.

The cold-blooded murder of Singh rattled the leaders of all political parties. The extent to which Singh’s murder caused panic among politicians can be gauged from a visit to BJP MP Kamlesh Paswan’s (37) residence in Gorakhpur, 110 km north of Azamgarh.

“I am under constant threat from political rivals as well as the mafia active in the region. I have urged the district magistrate and the superintendent of police to provide me security guards, but in vain. Now I am planning to visit Lucknow to raise the issue before chief minister Akhilesh Yadav,” Paswan told HT. He has a licensed pistol.

His wife and mother too possess licensed weapons and move in a security ring of half a dozen heavily armed personal guards.

“My father Om Prakash Paswan was killed in 1996 while addressing a public meeting. Several attempts have been made by my rivals to eliminate me too. Now Lok Sabha elections are round the corner and I have to move into the interiors to meet the voters. I need security as well as weapons,” he told HT.

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