VARANASI: The absconding main accused in the Ballia firing case, Dhirendra Pratap Singh, posted a video on social media on Saturday claiming he did not open fire as is being alleged by his rivals and police and had fled as he feared threat to his life.
Meanwhile, police threw a security blanket around the district court to foil his surrender bid after a close associate of Dhirendra moved a plea for his surrender.
In the video, reportedly recorded on Friday, Dhirendra claimed that he was innocent. He said he had cautioned officials about malpractices in allotment of fair price shops and threat of violence but they did not pay heed.
He further claimed that when firing started at the spot, he was standing before the sub divisional magistrate (SDM) Suresh Chandra Pal and circle officer Chandrakesh Singh.
He further stated that police officials caught him while his family members were being thrashed amid indiscriminate firing by his rivals. Dhirendra claimed he was caught by the CO but he escaped fearing threat to his life.
He also accused the district administration and police of taking one-sided action against him and destroying his hard-earned property.
TOI could not immediately verify the veracity of the video that went viral after being posted by Dhirendra even as police hunt to arrest him was on since the killing of one Jaiprakash Pal in firing during allotment of fair price shops at Durjanpur village in Reoti police station area of the district.
Meanwhile, an audio clip of a conversation between the main accused and the local supply inspector Durga Yadav also went viral on social media. In this clip, Dhirendra is heard threatening Yadav and hurling expletives.
In the unverified clip, he is heard asking Yadav why the previous allotment of fair price shops was not cancelled despite repeated calls by ‘Vidhayakji’ (MLA) in this regard.
When Yadav asks Dhirendra to speak to SDM in this regard, he challenges him to come to his village and sprays a volley of expletives at him.
SP Ballia Devendra Nath admitted heavy police force was deployed in and around the district court compound to foil the surrender bid.
“On Friday late night, one more accused, a cousin of Dhirendra, was arrested. So far, seven accused, including two named, who are cousin brothers of Dhirendra, have been arrested. I announced a cash reward of Rs 25,000 while DIG Azamgarh range announced a reward of Rs 50,000 on Dhirendra. Massive raids are being carried out to arrest Dhirendra,” the SP said.
Moreover, BJP MLA from Bairia, Surendra Singh, accused officials of local administration and police of initiating one-sided action and keeping chief minister Yogi Adityanath misinformed.
The Bairia MLA went to the district hospital to meet the injured family members of Dhirendra undergoing treatment and teared up in front of the media and people.
Accusing administration and police officials of being biased against Dhirendra and his family, the MLA said, “Even medical examination of injured family members of Dhirendra has not been conducted even though they are admitted in hospital after suffering injuries in the attack by rivals. The rivals of Dhirendra indulged in fighting and opened fire, but the officials have misinformed the CM and are taking one-sided action.”
“I am not asking them to spare Dhirendra, but his rivals should also be booked for their crime,” he added.
A group of ex-servicemen also came in support of Dhirendra and staged a demonstration under the banner of Purva-Sainik (ex-serviceman) Sangathan demanding FIR against his rivals led by Durjanpur village head Krishna Yadav.
Sangathan state in-charge Ramesh Singh said Yadav and his supporters had started fighting and opened fire in a planned way but the administration targeted only Dhirendra, who is an ex-serviceman. They threatened to gherao the Revati police station and intensify their stir if FIR is not lodged against Dhirendra’s rivals.
In Video:Ballia firing case: Main accused hurls abuses at inspector, audio goes viral
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