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Hapur: Owaisi's car fired upon

Ghaziabad (PTI) AIMIM chief and Lok Sabha MP Asaduddin Owaisi's car was allegedly fired upon in Hapur while he was returning to Delhi after attending election-related events in western Uttar Pradesh.

Owaisi's vehicle was near the Chhijarsi toll plaza on the Hapur-Ghaziabad stretch of the National Highway 24 when the incident took place at around 6 pm, he said.

No one was injured in the incident, Owaisi said while urging the Election Commission (EC) to ensure an independent probe into the incident.

Uttar Pradesh's Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar said one person involved in the episode has been arrested and a pistol seized from him.

The local Hapur Police said its multiple teams are investigating the case even as the inspector general of the Meerut zone was rushed in to supervise the probe, which has come barely a week ahead of the first phase of the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls.

Some time ago, my car was fired at near Chhijarsi toll gate. Four rounds of shots were fired. There were 3-4 people, all of them ran away and left the weapons there. My car got punctured, but I moved to another car and left. We are all safe. Alhamdu'lilah, Owaisi tweeted in Hindi.

The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president and Hyderabad MP said he had left Delhi in the morning for election-related programmes in Meerut and Kithore, where he held door-to-door campaigns for party's candidates.

Owaisi's convoy had four cars, according to the MP.

We were at the toll gate and had slowed down when we suddenly heard three-to-four rounds of gunshots. My car also got some dents and a tyre got punctured, he later told reporters.

I urge the EC to ensure an independent probe into the incident. It must be known who is behind this incident. It's also an appeal to the Modi government and the Yogi government, he added.

ADG Prashant Kumar in Lucknow said the local police had got into action as soon as the AIMIM chief had tweeted about the incident.

Some people were detained from the incident spot by the police. Video footage were also secured. It appeared that two people had opened fire and of them has been arrested. He has been identified as Sachin, a resident of Badalpur area of Gautam Buddh Nagar district. An illegal pistol has also been seized from him, Kumar said.

He said the police are gathering information regarding who else was involved along with Sachin and efforts are on to unveil the episode and the motive behind it.

What's satisfactory is that the police responded quickly and one person has been held and video footage ascertains his involvement in the episode. Search is on for his associate. The Meerut IG is at the spot, the senior officer said.

Hapur Superintendent of Police Deepak Bhuker said, We are also finding out how they planned this (shooting). Since the incident took place at the toll plaza, we are also checking the CCTV footage available there. Police teams have been deployed and very soon others involved in the episode will also be held.

Bhuker said the investigation was at the preliminary stage and other facts and details would be shared as and when available.

Meanwhile, senior district officials, including those from the administration and the police, reached the incident site, where several activists and supporters of the AIMIM had started gathering after the shootout.

Elections are scheduled for February 10 in 58 assembly constituencies across 11 districts of western Uttar Pradesh, where polls will be held in seven phases.

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