Indian Justice Party candidate found hanging from tree
Dalit leader and Indian Justice Party's (IJP) Lok Sabha candidate Bahadur Sonkar was found hanging from a tree near his home in Uttar Pradesh's Jaunpur town on Monday.india Updated: Apr 14, 2009 10:33 IST
Dalit leader and Indian Justice Party's (IJP) Lok Sabha candidate Bahadur Sonkar was found hanging from a tree near his home in Uttar Pradesh's Jaunpur town on Monday, a death his relatives blamed on the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party's nominee (BSP).
Sonkar, who was contesting against BSP's Dhananjay Singh, a mafia don turned politician, was found hanging near Raja Ka Talab, barely 500 metres from his home in Ahiyapur-Rasheedabad locality, 200 km from here.
There was high drama with his relatives and supporters trying to prevent police from taking away the body -- recovered after the family found him missing from his bed in the outer verandah of his residence.
His slippers and mobile were lying near the cot while the mattress and sheet were also littered around the bed, indicating a scuffle before he was forcibly carried away.
Sonkar's family members said Dhananjay Singh had been issuing death threats to Sonka through a police officer.
A relative alleged that police circle officer Ditendra Chaudhary had been pressurising him to withdraw his candidature in favour of Dhananjay Singh.
"When Bahadur told the officer that it was not possible for him to pull out of the election fray, the cop warned him to be ready to face serious consequences," the relative said on condition of anonymity.
The candidate had informed election observers and had spoken to the media about the matter.
"Even last night (Sunday), he was referring to another phone call from the officer," said a brother of the victim.
IJP chief Udit Raj, who has arrived in Jaunpur, has demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe and sought the immediate arrest of the circle officer as well as a police inspector.
Udit Raj, who left the Indian Revenue Service (IRS), entered public life by launching IJP to promote the cause of Dalits. The party is seen as making a dent in the BSP's support base in a few places.
In Lucknow, a spokesperson of the Mayawati government said the guilty would not go unpunished.
"Anyone no matter how high and mighty would not be spared if he were involved in the killing," he told IANS.
Jaunpur District Magistrate Aparna Upadhyaya said: "Until I get the post mortem report, I will not make any comment."