Two Samajwadi Party leaders were shot dead by unidentified persons in separate incidents in Uttar Pradesh on Friday, police said, ruling out any political rivalry in both the cases.
Lalji Yadav, 41, was shot dead around 9.30 am near Siddiquepur in Khwaja Sarai area of Jaunpur district. He was travelling on his SUV on the Shahganj-Jaunpur road and had stopped to talk to someone when three motorcycle-borne men intercepted the vehicle and opened fire, the police said.
Yadav, a contractor who had murder and other criminal cases against him, was rushed to a hospital but succumbed to injuries, an officer said.
Prima facie, it appears to be a case of personal enmity and not any political rivalry, district Superintendent of Police Ashish Tiwari said.
Yadav is also charged under the Gangsters Act, the officer said. "It is possible that he was in touch with criminals also and the killing is a resultant of personal issues."
The killing could be motivated from the property-related issues and it can be confirmed after a probe, Jaunpur Rural additional SP Sanjay Rai told PTI.
In Gautam Buddh Nagar district, the president of the Samajwadi Party's Dadri assembly segment was killed in a similar manner.
Ramtek Kataria was near his home on Jarcha road overseeing some construction work when four masked men pumped bullets into him around 12.30 pm, the police said.
The four unidentified men arrived in a car and opened at least 10 rounds of fire on Kataria and fled the spot. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was declared dead, district Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Vaibhav Krishna said.
Prima facie, the killing appears to be a result of personal enmity with one of Kataria's brothers in the extended family, Krishna said.
According to officials, the rivalry between the two factions had been brewing for long and, at times, reached the police also, with the two sides registering cases against each other.
FIRs has been registered in both the shooting incidents under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code, the officers added.