Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader and former member of legislative assembly Sarvesh Singh was shot dead along with his security guard at his Azamgarh home in Uttar Pradesh on Friday, sparking off violence with his supporters hitting the streets and shouting anti-government slogans.
Uttar Pradesh IG (law and order) RK Vishwakarma said the former MLA was shot dead by two unidentified men while he was returning home from Azamgarh police station.
Police suspect family rivalry and property dispute for the murder but supporters of the politician alleged that he was killed by people close to the ruling Samajwadi Party. Vishwakarma said that they have launched a search operation to nab the culprits.
Violence broke out in Azamgarh after the killing of the former MLA with hundreds of his supporters taking to the streets and resorted to burning of vehicles, attacking police station and protesting against the government. One man was killed and two others, including a journalist were injured reportedly by police firing.
Sarvesh Singh was a Samajwadi Party MLA till 2012 before contesting the last assembly elections with BSP ticket. His father Rampyare Singh was a cabinet minister in SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav's government.
Leader of Opposition, Swami Prasad Maurya, condemned the killing of the former BSP leader and demanded that the government check goondaism in the state, asking what the common man would expect if the people's representatives were not safe. He also demanded an inquiry into the police firing and punish the guilty.
"It is most unfortunate that a former Samajwadi Party MLA was shot dead under the SP government," Outlook India quoted state unit president of the BJP, Laxmikant Bajpai as saying.
"I have my doubts that it could be a part of political conspiracy. Sarvesh Singh had left SP and joined the BSP and perhaps because of this his security threats were not taken seriously by the police."
Congress leader Akhilesh Singh also condemned the killing of the former MLA, saying that the incident brought to light that there is no law and order in the state.