A day after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Brijpal Teotia was shot at multiple times in Ghaziabad, party leaders, including state president Keshav Prasad Maurya, slammed the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) for poor law and order in Uttar Pradesh.
Teotia was attacked by unknown assailants on Thursday around 8 pm while returning to Ghaziabad from Muradnagar in his private vehicle. He was travelling with five others, including two private gunners, in his white Mahindra Scorpio, police said.
“The state government had been providing Teotia two gunners for the past two years. However, they withdrew the gunners a few weeks ago citing various reasons. I do not understand the reason behind this move by the government. It raises suspicions about the SP government as well,” said Maurya.
Ghaziabad mayor Ashu Verma demanded the resignation of chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.
“First the Bulandshahr gangrape, and now this. The CM should resign as he is unable to handle law and order in the state,” he said.
Pankaj Singh, BJP state general secretary and son of Union home minister Rajnath Singh, said the state government has not established contact with them yet and neither has any leader of the ruling party issued a statement or visited Teotia.
“We have not received any communication from the state government yet and neither have we established any contact with them. We are discussing the situation and exploring possibilities for a CBI probe in the incident,” he said.
As the police continue to probe the possibility of personal rivalry being behind the attack, Vikas Teotia, the victim’s brother, said they have no rivalry with anyone.
“We do not have any rivalry with anyone, neither personal nor political. Police asked us about Rakesh Hasanpuriya’s encounter, but we told them that we had nothing to do with it. Encounters are conducted by the police and individuals do not have any role in it. My brother is a simple politician and always did social work. He did not have any fight with anyone,” said Vikas.
Rakesh Hasanpuriya, an accused in multiple cases, was killed in a police encounter in Kavi Nagar, Ghaziabad in 2003. His family had claimed Teotia had tipped off the police about his location.
BJP’s city president Ajay Sharma said Teotia had repeatedly requested the Ghaziabad senior superintendent of police (SSP) for gunners as he feared for his security.
“The move to remove gunners came a few weeks after the new SSP took charge in Ghaziabad. The use of lethal weapons like AK-47 (used in the attack) inside Ghaziabad shows the poor condition of law and order in the state,” he said.
Other BJP leaders who visited Teotia at Fortis Hospital, Noida, on Friday included Ghaziabad MP and Union minister General (retd) VK Singh, Noida MLA Vimla Batham and Baghpat MP Satpal Singh.