Lucknow: The membership of BJP MLA Ashok Chandel was annulled on the grounds that he has been convicted by the Allahabad High Court for a mass murder that took place 22 years ago in Hamirpur.
Speaker of the UP assembly, Hriday Narain Dixit, on Thursday, announced the disqualification of the BJP with retrospective effect from April 19 ï¿½ the day on which the high court convicted him.
The case against Ashok Chandel dates back to January 26, 1997 when a minor altercation between local BJP leader Rajiv Shukla and Chandel led to a shootout in which five persons, including Shukla’s two elder brothers Rakesh, Rajesh and nephews Ambuj, Ved Nayak and Srikant Pandey were killed.
Five more persons, including two children, had suffered bullet injuries in the shootout after which an FIR was lodged against Chandel and nine others.
A chargesheet was filed against Ashok Chandel and others after investigation.
All the 10 accused were acquitted on July 15, 2002 by additional district and sessions judge, Hamirpur, on the ground that the testimony of witnesses were doubtful.
The decision was challenged by Rajiv Shukla before the High Court, which reversed the judgement.
Ashok Chandel, a former MP and a four-time MLA from Hamirpur, had started his political carrier in 1989 as an Independent MLA.
Meanwhile, the by-election to the Hamirpur seat will now be held with by-elections to 11 other assembly segments.