Supporters of a Uttar Pradesh Minister allegedly opened fire, killing a constable and attempted to ransack a police station in Mahrajganj district to protest the release of a rape case suspect.
While locals alleged that fire came from inside a car carrying Minister of State for Fisheries Jamuna Nishad and his supporters, he denied that he was present near the Kotwali police station, the scene of the mayhem, last night.
The Kotwali police have registered a case against Nishad and 50 other unnamed people under section 302 (murder) and other relevant sections of the IPC and the Arms Act, Deputy Inspector General, Gorakhpur Range, G L Meena said today.
Witnesses alleged that a red-beacon vehicle, in which the Minister was present along with his supporters, came to the area and the occupants had an altercation with a police guard. A crowd was already present at the spot.
As a commotion ensued, other policemen rushed to the spot and tried to chase them away when someone opened fire, police said, adding a bullet hit constable Krishna Nand Rai. He was rushed to a hospital here, where he died.
The mob also tried to ransack the police station and loot the armoury, Meena said maintaining that three rounds were fired -- one from a rifle and two from a pistol.
Nishad said: "I was never near the Kotwali last night. However, I had called up some officials and asked them to probe the rape case impartially".
He said the mob that gathered there to protest the alleged shielding of a suspect in the rape of a minor girl from the Nishad community had opened fire. His supporters had not fired, he claimed.
Additional Director General (Law and Order) Brij Lal said a report has been sought from the police station. He declined comment on whether the Minister was present.