Twelve people, including Ballia ADM Bache Lal Maurya, have been booked and a Sub-Inspector has been put under suspension in connection with the death. Superintendent of Police Manoj Kumar Jha said that during routine checking, five cows were yesterday recovered from a vehicle following which an FIR was registered against Chandrama Yadav and another person. Thereafter, BJP MLA Upendra Tiwari and his supporters, including Yadav, last night staged a dharna in front of Narahi police station to protest registration of the FIR, he said.

Efforts were made to pacify the MLA and his supporters but they did not relent and when police tried to evict them, they pelted the personnel with stones, the SP said. He said police then lobbed teargas squibs and fired rubber bullets to disperse the irate crowd. District BJP chief Vinod Dubey alleged that police used batons and opened fire at the party workers, leading to the death of Vinod Rai and injury to 50 others.

Based on a complaint filed by Rai's nephew, an FIR was today registered against the Additional District Magistrate and 11 policemen, including SI at Nahari police station Rajesh Yadav, who has been put under suspension, Inspector at Ballia police station DK Srivastava said. Jha, however, refuted the charge saying police did not open fire and said the reason behind his death will be known only after the postmortem report is received.

Cases have been registered against the MLA, 34 named accused and 300 unnamed accused under relevant sections of IPC and six persons have been arrested. The SP said the MLA was absconding, though Dubey claimed that he was seriously injured in the police action and was undergoing treatment in a hospital. Heavy police force has been deployed to bring the situation under control and a magisterial inquiry ordered into the incident.

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