New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh police on Monday arrested 3 suspects in connection with the murder of former village head of Baraulia in Amethi  Surendra Singh, a close aide of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Smriti Irani. Addressing a press conference, a day after the incident, OP Singh, UP Director General of Police (DGP) said that a weapon allegedly used to kill Singh has also been recovered.

“We have arrested three murder suspects. Two suspects are still absconding and we will nab them soon. On the basis of all evidence it is very clear that the 5 murder suspects and the victim had local level political rivalry,” said UP DGP.

Earlier on Saturday, in the first incident of post-poll violence in Uttar Pradesh, Surendra Singh (50), who used to campaign for Smriti Irani, was shot dead. Speaking to news agency ANI, Singh’s son said, “My father was a close aide of Smriti Irani and used to campaign 24/7. After she became MP, Vijay Yatra was carried out. I think some Congress supporters didn’t like it, we have suspicions on some people.”

Speaking to reporters after the incident, Irani asked party workers to exercise restraint and  claimed that Singh was killed so that Amethi could be “terrorised, disintegrated and made to bow down”.

Referring to Gandhi’s remarks without naming him.”On (May) 23, I was given a message that take care of Amethi with love. To the person, who gave me the message, I would like to say that I have received the message loud and clear.”

Yesterday, Irani had participated in his cremation and even carried the bier on her shoulders. She also spoke to the family members of the deceased, and said that they were her responsibility and she would take care of them.

“The bereaved family of the BJP bows its head before the departed soul of Surendra Singh, and the family of 11 crore BJP workers is standing with his family,” the Union minister said.

On May 23 when the results of Lok Sabha elections were announced, Rahul Gandhi had said, “I would like that Smriti Iraniji takes care of Amethi with love and I hope that she will reward the trust that Amethi’s people have reposed in her.”

Smriti Irani had won from Amethi with over 55,000 votes, defeating Rahul Gandhi, its three-time MP. She destroyed the Congress bastion and scored one of the biggest upset of these elections.