Jhansi (UP): Days after the encounter killing by UP police of one Pushpendra Yadav for alleged illegal sand mining in Uttar Pradesh, which has created a political storm, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav slammed the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday, saying there is no "Ram Raj" but "Nathuram Raj" in the state.
Police said Yadav was killed in an encounter on Sunday after he opened fire on a patrol team. But his family members have alleged that he was killed in a staged gunfight after he refused to pay bribe to the police station in-charge and threatened to expose him.
The statements of Jhansi SSP and the SHO on the encounter were inconsistent.
The SP chief and former chief minister visited Yadav's family on Wednesday and assured them help.
On Thursday, he said, "There are many loopholes in the police story."
Akhilesh Yadav said he has "no trust" in the police and the administration. "Which Ram Raj is going on in UP? This is not Ram Raj but Nathuram Raj. With mob lynching, police lynching has also started in the state," he told reporters at a press conference.
Jhansi Senior Superintendent of Police O P Singh had told reporters that the SHO was returning in his private vehicle from vacation when the exchange of fire took place, but the Station House Officer involved said he was on patrol duty.
Police have also claimed Pushpendra Yadav, who ran a sand mining business, was shot dead after he opened fire on the police office office who had seized his truck a few days earlier.
Pushpendra Yadav's family alleged that the area police officer in-charge, Dharmendra Chauhan, was demanding Rs 1.5-lakh bribe to release his truck.
"We demand a probe by a sitting high court judge. It's not an encounter but a murder. The police has made Pushpendra's brother, who is in the security forces and was on duty in Delhi, an accused in the case," Akhilesh Yadav said.
"Not much should be expected from the police force of a state where the chief minister openly asks them to 'thok dalo' (shoot) those taking law in their own hands," he said.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hit back at the SP chief, saying he was concerned about the sand mining mafia and caste arithmetic.
"It was an encounter but Akhilesh has to go to the person's house because he is in love with the sand mining mafia and has to take care of the caste equation. He does not care how the sand mining mafia should be eradicated. This is precisely why he was thrown out by people in elections," senior BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh said.