LUCKNOW/NEW DELHI: UP Police on Saturday arrested Samajwadi Party’s sitting MLA Nahid Hasan, whose candidature from the seat was announced two days ago from Kairana, a communally sensitive high-profile seat that saw accusations of exodus by Hindus in 2014 amid threats of extortion. Kairana goes to polls in first phase that begins on February 10.
Hasan’s arrest and Fukran’s conviction have yet again put a spotlight on the recurrent election theme of polarisation as ruling BJP and principal Opposition party SP look to cement their core votebank in the run up to Phase 1 and Phase 2 elections. Hasan’s arrest coincides with announcement of BJP candidate Mriganka Singh by the party in the heavy duty list in Delhi by BJP’s UP poll in-charge Dharmendra Pradhan.
This comes two days after a local Shamli court sent notorious criminal and feared drug lord, Fukran, to jail with a 10-year rigorous imprisionment sentence.
“We have arrested Nahid Hasan in the Gangsters Act. He was wanted by the police. Local court had issued a non-bailable warrant. He is being taken to the court for the custody,” a Shamli Police official told The New Indian.
Kairana has faced violent clashes between communities and has seen power alternating between BJP and SP-RLD combine since 2014
Earlier, Furkan, who was accused of murdering a business board treasurer Vinod Singhal in August 2014, had surrendered last November. It was Fukran whose alleged atrocities against Hindu businessmen had escalated tension between communities, with the tipping point being when his men killed Singhal in broad day light.
He was injured in a UP Police encounter, an unwritten policy by Yogi government since 2017 that saw either elimination of several dreaded criminals or their acolytes who were evading law for decades.
After the announcement of the reward, on April 8, 2017, the police arrested Furkan, who was injured in an encounter, from Aldi village under Kandhala police station area of Shamli.
Mriganka, who had earlier contested Kairana Lok Sabha by-poll, had lost to SP-RLD’s joint candidate Tabassum. She is daughter of former BJP MP Hukum Singh.
Shamli also houses the seat of sitting UP minister Suresh Rana, whose candidature was also annouced by the BJP on Saturday.