UP ministers booked for kidnapping panchayat leader



Dehradun: Two Uttar Pradesh ministers were among 28 persons booked in Uttarakhand for the alleged kidnapping of a panchayat leader and 27 of his associates, a senior police official said here on Monday.

Moolchand Chauhan and Manoj Paras, both of them ministers of state from UP, have been named as accused in a case of kidnapping of a panchayat leader from Bijnore, IG (law and order) Ram Singh Meena told a news agency.

Chauhan's son Amit Chauhan, Yashvir Singh and Rashid Hussain have also been named accused in the case lodged against 23 others at a police station in Pauri district on January 18, he said.

They have been charged with kidnapping a panchayat leader from Bijnore and 27 others from a resort at Laxman Jhula in Rishikesh, the official said, adding the charges against the accused are being probed.

According to the report lodged in this connection, the accused allegedly barged into panchayat leader Pawan Kumar's room at the resort near Laxman Jhula on the night of January 17 and assaulted him.

They kidnapped him and took him to an unknown destination, Laxman Jhula Police Station SHO DS Rawat said, quoting the FIR lodged by Pawan Kumar's son Rohit.

While the exact motive behind the kidnapping of the panchayat leader is yet to be ascertained, police suspect that he was abducted in view of Bijnore zila panchayat election being held today.

A police team has been sent to Bijnore to find out whether those allegedly kidnapped by the two UP ministers and their associates turn up to vote in the polls or not, he said adding this would determine the course of further investigation into the case.

PTI