Rival groups clash in Ghaziabad village ahead of local body polls, two gunned down
The groups comprised supporters of two opposing candidates in the upcoming local body elections. One of three men arrested so far include a former councillor as well.noida Updated: Jun 09, 2017 22:48 IST
Two persons were killed in a crossfire when two groups clashed late Thursday night in Bamheta village, under the municipal corporation area, near NH-24 in Ghaziabad.
The groups comprised supporters of two opposing candidates in the upcoming local body elections. One of three men arrested so far include a former councillor as well.
The incident took place around 9.40pm on Thursday after men from both groups attended a ‘jagran’ (all-night religious event) held at the village. While returning, Babu and his cousins, Kapil, Joginder and Jugni, were cornered and fired upon by a rival group of 8-10 men.
Joginder and Jugni sustained severe bullet injuries. They were rushed to nearby Columbia Asia hospital where they were declared brought dead, the police said.
“The men used illegal weapons. We suspect that firing took place from both sides. We recovered five empty cartridges from the scene of crime. So far, we have arrested three persons in connection with the murders and a hunt is on to trace the others as well. During the ‘jagran,’ the two groups were trying to convince locals to vote for their respective leader. This led to a commotion and firing ensued,” said HN Singh, senior superintendent of police (SSP), Ghaziabad.
Following the incident, an FIR was lodged for rioting, attempt to murder, murder and criminal conspiracy at Kavi Nagar police station. Police also invoked provisions of 7 Criminal Law Amendment Act against former councillor Phool Kunwar, Gajendra Yadav, Amit Yadav, Titu, Kapil Yadav, Nikku, Akash, Devender and several unidentified persons.
Bamheta, located near Kavi Nagar industrial area, is famous for its wrestlers and is a ‘Yadav’ stronghold. Senior police officers visited the spot late night and also deployed a heavy contingent of civil police and Provincial Armed Constabulary at the village. The entire village was deserted on Friday.
“The murders took place due to the upcoming election. The conspiracy was hatched by Phool Kunwar and he masterminded the attack. While we were returning from the ‘jagran’, we were cornered in a lane and fired upon indiscriminately. Locals rushed inside homes and the entire village is now in the grip of fear,” Babu said in his police complaint.
Police sources said both groups supported a different political party. Nearly 20-25 rounds were fired during the attack which seems to have been planned.
“The men from the two groups had contested the previous local body election. However, they both lost. Since then, they developed a rivalry. Since local elections are to be held soon, the accused group decided to eliminate the victims who were preparing to field Joginder,” a senior police officer said.
SSP said the police arrested Devender, Phool Kunwar and Akash in connection with the incident. Accused Akash also sustained a gunshot wound and is admitted to a hospital.