Three, including BSP leader, killed in Azamgarh

Lucknow, July 19 (IANS) BSP leader and former legislator Sarvesh Singh was shot dead Friday with his guard at Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh, sparking violence by his supporters that left a businessman dead in police firing.

Hundreds of supporters of Sarvesh Singh took to the streets screaming anti-government slogans, attacking police posts and setting fire to scores of vehicles following the killing of Sarvesh Singh.

There were conflicting versions of how he was murdered.

Police said the killers barged into his house and opened fire at the Bahujan Samaj Party leader, who was previously in the Samajwadi Party, and his guard. Both men died on the spot.

But his supporters blamed the police for the murder, saying a police inspector had summoned him to a police station and Sarvesh Singh was shot dead while returning home.

As tension spread, worried traders downed their shutters in the town.

Unable to control the mobs, police fired at the crowd, killing a businessman, Jitendra Gupta, officials said. Two civilians, including a journalist were injured.

A dozen policemen have also been reportedly injured in brickbatting.

Sarvesh Singh was a Samajwadi Party legislator in 2007 but quit the party when Amar Singh was expelled. His father Ram Pyare Singh was a minister in the former Mulayam Singh Yadav government.

BSP leader Naseemuddin Siddiqui told IANS that the "worst fears" of his party were turning true.

"Our party leader Mayawati has said that criminals are ruling the roost in the state and that nobody is safe," he said.