A former village head in Uttar Pradesh's Amethi, who worked closely with BJP leader Smriti Irani during her Lok Sabha campaign, was shot dead early this morning.
Surendra Singh, a BJP worker, was attacked at his home; he died later at a hospital in Lucknow where he was taken for treatment, said police. Police said an old enmity may have led to the killing. "We have come to know about old enmity. We are also finding out if there was any political enmity," UP DGP Om Prakash Singh was quoted as saying by news agency PTI. Seven people have been taken into custody and they are being interrogated.
"We have also got important evidence through electronic surveillance. I am hopeful that in the next 12 hours, we will solve the case," the DGP said.
Smriti Irani has left for Amethi and will be meet Surendra Singh's family later in the day.
Surendra Singh was the former head of Baraulia village, which was adopted by ex-defence minister Manohar Parrikar in 2015 as a part of the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, a central government scheme for rural development. He quit the village head post to participate in the BJP election campaign.
He had actively participated in Smriti Irani's Lok Sabha campaign and had also earned praise from the BJP leader in her speeches at public meetings. "My father was a close aide of Smriti Irani and would campaign for her day and night. After she was elected as the member of parliament from Amethi, a Vijay Yatra (victory procession) was carried out.