Uttar Pradesh BJP MLA gets life term in 22-year-old shootout case
The Allahabad high court on Friday awarded life term to BJP MLA Ashok Singh Chandel and nine others in a 22-year-old shootout incident of Hamirpur district in which five members of a family were killed.
While partly allowing an appeal filed by the state government and complainant Rajiv Shukla, a division bench comprising Justice Ramesh Sinha and Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh reversed the acquittal order of all 10 accused by Hamirpur district and sessions judge given in 2002.
A minor altercation between a local BJP leader Rajiv Shukla and Ashok Singh Chandel on January 26, 1997 in Hamirpur had led to a gruesome shootout in which five persons, including Shukla’s two elder brothers, Rakesh, Rajesh, and 9-year old nephew Ambuj had died.
Security guards Ved Prakash Nayak and Shrikant Pandey were also killed. Five more persons, including two children, had sustained bullet injuries in the shootout.A named FIR was lodged against Chandel and others. The police after investigating the matter had filed chargesheet against the accused.
However, during the trial, the accused were acquitted on the ground that the testimonies of the witnesses were doubtful.
The decision was challenged by Rajiv, who is the main complainant before the high court, which reversed the order on Friday.
Chandel, who has been a one-time MP and four-time MLA from Hamirpur, had started his political career in 1989 as an independent MLA. He went on to become the MP from Hamirpur in 1999 from the BSP. Presently, he represents BJP.