Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar has said that the convoy he was travelling in, was attacked and fired upon, late on Sunday night, when he was returning after addressing a rally in Bulandshahr district of Uttar Pradesh. "Opposition parties have been terrified of our candidate in Bulandshahr elections and today's rally worried them, due to which my convoy was fired at in a cowardly manner. This shows their desperation... they want the atmosphere to be toxic but we will not let this happen," Chandra Shekhar Azad tweeted late on Sunday night.
Azad, who is also the convener of Azad Samaj Party, said his convoy was fired at when members were campaigning for the upcoming bye-election. It is not clear whether he himself was present during the incident since the Bhim Army chief was scheduled to address a rally in the district.
The incident comes days ahead of the November 3 Bulandshahr bye-election.
Bulandshahr Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Santosh Kumar Singh has denied an attack on Chandra Shekhar's convoy. The SSP said there was information about a mutual conflict between workers affiliated to the candidates of Azad Samaj Party and AIMIM. The police official said reports about an attack on Chandra Shekhar's convoy are yet to be confirmed.
The bye-polls in Uttar Pradesh for seven seats, including the Bulandshahr one, mark the political debut of the Bhim Army which has, till now, remained a quasi-political outfit.
Chandra Shekhar has named Haji Yamin as his party's candidate for the Bulandshahr bye-poll and his Azad Samaj Party is also contesting as many as 30 seats in Bihar under the Progressive Democratic Alliance (PDA) banner, which will be led by the Jan Adhikar Party of Rajesh Ranjan aka Pappu Yadav.
Chandra Shekhar has been a fierce critic of the Uttar Pradesh government over the alleged gang-rape and torture of a Dalit woman in Hathras last month, and its track record in protecting people from marginalised communities.