MLC's murder jolts UP peace, Mulayam

NEW DELHI: The Samajwadi Party on Saturday night got a taste of the worsening law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh when one of its MLCs, Ajit Singh, was brutally murdered while celebrating his birthday in a hotel at Unnao.

The incident holds ominous portents for the government as the governor has been raising questions over the worsening law and order situation. This will provide more ammunition to those who have been critical of the state government's handling of the problem.

A controversial figure with several criminal cases registered against him, Ajit Singh was allegedly murdered by a gang owing allegiance to another Samajwadi Party supporter, Akhilesh Singh, the Akhil Bharatiya Congress Dal MLA whose cousin, Ashok Singh, was the Samajwadi Party's candidate against Congress president Sonia Gandhi from the Rae Bareli constituency in the last Lok Sabha polls.

An FIR has been registered against Akhilesh Singh, Ramesh Kalia, another known criminal from the area, and two other persons in connection with the murder.

Akhilesh Singh was also named by the Congress as the prime accused in the murder of one of Mrs Gandhi's poll agents in Rae Bareli a few months ago, which led Mr Rahul Gandhi to open a battle-front against the state government.

The murdered MLC was considered close to the former Pota detenu Raghuraj Pratap Singh, aka Raja Bhaiya, who now finds a pride of place in Mulayam Singh Yadav ministry. Accompanied by his cousin and Pratapgarh MP Akshay Pratap Singh, Raja Bhaiya rushed to Ajit Singh's residence on hearing the news.

Ajit Singh shot into fame in the late nineties when he was charged by the state CID of having masterminded the daylight murder of a leading builder, Rajesh Aggarwal, in Lucknow. He was subsequently inducted into the BJP by Mr Rajnath Singh. He was considered close to almost all the top BJP leaders from the state at one time or the other.

When Raja Bhaiya was jailed by the Mayawati regime under charges of Pota, Ajit Singh switched his allegiance to the Samajwadi Party. He was at the receiving end of another murderous attack, allegedly carried out by the Mukhtar Ansari gang in the state capital last year, but had a miraculous escape.

Interestingly, almost all the criminal-turned-politicians have now found refuge in the Samajwadi Party. The opposition, including the BJP and the Congress, find this proof of the fact that the Mulayam Singh government has 'failed' or is “simply incapable of” turning the heat on such elements. The result is a continuous downward slide in the law and order graph of the state.

Source: The Times of India