GORAKHPUR: As many as 139 people including an SBSP MLA have been booked in connection with the last week's violence in Kushinagar followed by the rumours of the death of a drug peddler in police custody, officials said on Monday.
On Saturday, protests broke out following the death rumour of drug peddler Naurang Singh.
Roads were blocked, shops were ransacked and huts were torched while personnel from three police stations had to use force to control the mob, police said.
Singh was arrested on August 14 in a case registered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act and was sent to a jail in Deoria district, they said.
The Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) MLA from Kushinagar's Ramkola, Ramanand Baudh, was among 139 booked for the violence in an FIR registered at Ahirouli police sation in Kushinagar on Sunday evening, police said.
The FIR was lodged on written complaint of one Santosh Pandey of Ahrrouli Bazar area.
"Named FIR against MLA and 79 people and 60 unidentified has been lodged in connection of violence in which protesters indulged in brick batting, ransacking and setting huts on fire.
All have been booked under IPC section 426 (mischief), 342(wrongful confinement), 504 (provoking/breach peace), 506(criminal intimidation)," Ahrauli Bazar Station House Officer (SHO) Jitendra Singh said, adding that raids are underway to arrest the accused.
No arrests have so far been made and a probe into the case is on, police said. After rumours started floating that Singh died in jail, locals indulged in violence and the MLA too reached the site later.
Rejecting the charges of inciting the mob, MLA Baudh said over the phone, "Police has acted against me as part of conspiracy.
I was in Hata when somebody told me that Singh had died in jail. In order to ascertain, I made a call to Jail Superintendent who told that Singh was absolutely fine.
"I rushed to the spot and pacified the mob by telling them that Singh is alive in jail and the news of his death was a rumour. After pacifying the crowd, I returned. I don't know what happened after that," the MLA claimed.