Zeba Rizwan, a pass out from Jamia Millia Islamia in Mass Communication, is contesting as independent from Tulsipur of Uttar Pradesh after being denied ticket by the Samajwadi Party. She has been charged with murder of a rival candidate just ahead of the polls and is now in jail under judicial custody.
Zeba is contesting as independent from her home turf while being lodged in Balrampur jail. She had earlier contested on Congress ticket in 2017 and came second, later the family switched to Samajwadi Party but the murder charge led the party change the ticket at the last moment and so she decided to contest independent. Her father Rizwan Zaheer too was elected MLA as independent for the first time three decades ago. He later also became an MP from Balrampur.
However, the family members and close aides of Zeba swear by Quran and say they have been framed by the UP police and have nothing to do with the murder and blame BJP for framing Rizwan Zaheer and the whole family.
Mohd Khurshid Chand, a close aide of the family, said in a video, “that he is swearing in by the Holy book at the behest of Zeba to tell the people that Zeba and his family have been framed by the opponents and have nothing to do with the murder. We are seeking justice and liberty in people’s court.”
The videos and posters have photo of the ex-MP & daughter in jail and songs of her Azadi in the background.
The family says that the SP has personal grudge against the family since the rural local body polls when the ex-MP was sent to jail on various Charges.
The supporter of the family are also miffed with Samajwadi Party leadership which denied her ticket after the family of the victim protested against the accused. The seat goes to polls in the sixth phase.
Former Samajwadi Party MP, Rizwan Zaheer and his daughter Zeba Rizwan and her husband Rameez were arrested by the local police in January for the murder of former Tulsipur Nagar panchayat chairman Firoz Pappu.
Firoz Pappu was killed outside his house on January 5. Police said that Rizwan Zaheer already had 14 criminal cases on him, including a case of the National Security Act (NSA).
Superintendent of Police (SP), Balrampur, Hemant Kutiyal said that Rizwan Zaheer was planning to field his daughter Zeba in the upcoming elections, but Firoz Pappu was also eyeing the same ticket.
“Rizwan Zaheer, through his sources in the party, learnt that Firoz Pappu was likely to get the ticket as he currently had more presence in the region and his wife Kehkasha was already the present Nagar panchayat chairperson. Hence, Rizwan Zaheer got Firoz eliminated,” the SP claimed.