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Panchayat chief of Modi's adopted village in jail

The panchayat chief of Jayapur, the Prime Minister's adopted village in Varanasi district, has landed in jail on charges of attacking a villager with criminal intent.

By PIYUSH SRIVASTAVA in Lucknow
  • Published 3.07.16
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Lucknow, July 2: The panchayat chief of Jayapur, the Prime Minister's adopted village in Varanasi district, has landed in jail on charges of attacking a villager with criminal intent.

Narayan Patel is alleged to have attacked Ashok Singh on May 20 this year for helping out his rival in the December 2015 panchayat elections. Patel, of the BJP, had narrowly defeated Raj Kumar Yadav by 18 votes, that too after using Narendra Modi's pictures on his poll posters.

Ashok had then filed a case against Narayan, his son Rahul Patel and nephew Mukesh Patel accusing them of trying to seriously injure and kill him. All three have been arrested.

"Narayan had attacked me on May 20 because I helped Raj Kumar Yadav in the panchayat polls. I had filed a case at Rohaniya police station the same day. But police took action after more than a month," said Ashok.

There have also been allegations that Narayan would slap, abuse and beat up the villagers whenever they raised questions on the poor water supply in Jayapur, the unhygienic conditions, the bar on the use of six green toilets installed in the village and other problems. Ashok has corroborated the allegations.

"I am answerable to the Prime Minister and nobody else," Narayan has been quoted as telling villagers who demanded better civic amenities.

Narayan used to be a supporter of the Anupriya Patel-led Apna Dal. He changed his political loyalties overnight when Modi adopted Jayapur in November 2014 under the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana.

About panchayat chief Narayan's arrest, Varanasi SSP Akash Kulhari said: "They have been arrested on the charge of attempt to commit culpable homicide under Section 308 of the IPC. They were produced before a magistrate and sent to jail."

Narayan has, however, claimed that he was not involved in any scuffle.

"My political rivals and the police are hand-in-glove to defame me. I was not involved in any brawl," he told reporters after his arrest.

"The police had called my family members and me on Friday to record our statements and arrested us without any reason. I am a BJP member and the police are working for the ruling Samajwadi Party."

Durgawati Devi, the sister-in-law of Narayan, was the panchayat chief when Modi adopted the village. But it was Narayan who used to exercise all powers. Modi had met Narayan during his visit to the village in 2014.

The BJP has decided to take up the cudgels for Narayan. Hansraj Vishwakarma, the party's district chief, and Manish Kumar Singh, the state vice-president of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, visited the village today.

"We talked to the villagers and concluded that Narayan was innocent. He is a victim of political vendetta. We are sending a report to BJP state chief Keshav Prasad Maurya to chalk out a strategy to fight for him," said Vishwakarma.

Satyendra Vikram Singh, the in-charge of Jakhini police station, will probe the case.