Rahul Yadav – son of Ramvir Yadav, a senior Samajwadi Party leader – was brutally murdered in Bharthana, a town in Etawah district. Ramvir Yadav, a confidant of SP chief Mulayam Singh and UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, is a member of the district panchayat and SP president of the Takha development block in the district. Etawah is the home town and base of SP leader Mulayam Singh.
Rahul Yadav was sprayed with bullets by a dozen people in Bharthana town on 5 September. A total of 35 shots were fired at him from six weapons, including DBBL guns, rifles and revolvers. According to an eye witness, the assailants, around one dozen in number, came on motor-cycles and pumped around 35 rounds of bullets into the youth and even stabbed him six times to ensure his death. The victim tried to save himself from the criminals and even took shelter at a nearby dhaba, but the criminals chased him and shot him dead.
N Chowdhary, SSP of Etawah, said that personal enmity appeared to be the prima facie reason behind the murder. A named FIR was lodged in Bharthana at 2 am on 5 September against six people –Pushpendra Yadav, Shera Yadav and Chote Yadav – and three unidentified persons. No arrest has been made so far. SP sources claimed that the brutal killing of the son of the SP leader is the result of a cut-throat battle of supremacy in district politics among the Yadavs of Etawah. They said that the killing of Rahul Yadav could spark a gang war-like situation in the district as the deceased family would retaliate.
The police had to face a tough time in taking the body to the mortuary for the post-mortem. SP supporters protested against the killing and refused to hand over the body to the police. They raised slogans against the Chief Minister and the Samajwadi Party. As they strongly protested against the attempts of the police to ferry the body in a police jeep to the district hospital of Etawah, the body was picked up only after an ambulance arrived from Etawah.
The deceased was set to get married on 21 November. Ankur Yadav, son of the PWD Minister Shivpal Singh, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and other members of the Samajwadi party were present during the cremation at Bharthana.
Meanwhile, opposition parties condemned the incident and questioned the law and order situation in the state. BJP spokesperson Vijay Bahadur Pathak commented that when SP leaders and their family members were not safe in the home district of the Chief Minister, then how could common people be safe under the SP regime. “The present SP government has lost control over the criminals in the state and is doing whatever it likes. The police have become mere spectators,” Mr Pathak alleged.
UP Congress spokesperson Amaranth Agrawal too expressed his concern over the killing: “Jungle law prevails in UP. There is no control on the law and order and the criminals are having a field day. Killing of a youth – that too of a family close to the ruling party – proves that Akhilesh Yadav has failed to control the government he is heading.”