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State Leader Survives Assassination Attempt in India

April 4, 1994

NEW DELHI, India (AP) _ A young man reportedly tried to stab the leader of India’s most populous state today but was overpowered by two security guards.

Mulayam Singh Yadav, chief minister of Uttar Pradesh state in northern India, was attacked during a public meeting at his residence in Lucknow, the state capital, the United News of India news agency said.

When Yadav walked past, the assailant jumped from a chair, grabbed him by the neck and began pulling a knife from a pocket, the report said. Two guards knocked the attacker to the floor and held him for police. Yadav only suffered a scratch when he fell.

The report identified the assailant as Vasant Telang, 21, from Pune in the western state of Maharashtra.

There was no word on a possible motive.

Police said they found a bag belonging to Telang at the Bharatiya Janata Party’s office in Lucknow, indicating he might be an activist in the opposition group or one of its allies.

Pune is a stronghold of Shiv Sena, a fundamentalist Hindu group allied with Bharatiya Janata, an opposition movement that lost control of the Uttar Pradesh government to Yadav’s coalition of Socialists and lower-caste politicians last year.

Bharatiya Janata officials denied Telang was a party activist or that he was staying at its office in Lucknow.