Samajwadi Party in damage control mode after child killed in celebratory fire by partymen

In a huge embarrassment to ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) in Uttar Pradesh, an eight-year-old boy was killed in celebratory firing by party workers in Shamli district that led Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today to order the immediate removal of some of the area's top officers.

Samajwadi Party in damage control mode after child killed in celebratory fire by partymen

Muzaffarnagar: In a huge embarrassment to ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) in Uttar Pradesh, an eight-year-old boy was killed in celebratory firing by party workers in Shamli district that led Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today to order the immediate removal of some of the area's top officers.

In an ugly fallout from the incident, two crew members of a leading English news channel who went to the spot for coverage of the tragedy and agitation by angry locals were allegedly attacked by local SP leader and legislator Nahid Hasan and his aides.

The boy, Sami, who was passing by Kairana area in a rickshaw, was hit during the firing by SP workers yesterday, Superintendent of Police Anil Kumar Jha said.

The workers were celebrating the victory of party candidate Nafisa in the local body polls from the town, he said, adding the boy later succumbed to his injuries.

As irate locals blocked the Khatima-Panipat Highway to protest the death of the boy, police said a case has been registered against 10 persons, including Nafisa's husband under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Efforts are being made to arrest the absconding accused, police said, adding a police inspector was also suspended.

In Lucknow, Inspector General (IG) of Law and Order, Bhagwan Swaroop said a First Information Report (FIR) has been lodged against 10 persons of whom five were named. Those who have been named include Gayum, husband of newly elected block head Mumtaz, Inaam alias Dhuri and Nafees alias Chotta.

"Three persons have been taken into custody and are being quizzed," Mr Swaroop said.

With the incident likely to give a handle to the Samajwadi Party's rivals to slam the state government, the administration removed Sub-divisional Magistrate (SDM) and Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) of Shamli and will take disciplinary action against them.

Mr Hasan has been served a show-cause notice and the victorious block pramukh expelled from the party.

"This action has been taken by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, who is also the state SP chief," said senior SP leader Rajendra Chaudhary.

When the TV crew went to the spot for coverage, a crowd allegedly abused the channel reporter and video journalist and threatened them with dire consequences if they did not delete the video footage.

The video journalist was allegedly held hostage by them and the footage was forcefully deleted.