BAREILLY: Uttar Pradesh minister in charge of dairy development, Ram Murti Verma, has been charged with murder after a Shahjahanpur-based journalist, who had mounted on social media a relentless campaign again him, died of burn injuries late Monday evening.
Jagendra Singh, his family alleged on Tuesday, was set on fire by a bunch of cops and goons sent by Verma on June 1, at his house. The scribe had been struggling for life for the past week at a hospital in Lucknow.
Police have now filed an FIR against the minister and 4 others, including the Kotwali station in-charge, under Sections 302 (murder), 504 (insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.
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Singh had written extensively about the plight of an Aganwadi worker who had told a court recently that she had been gang-raped by the minister and some of his henchmen. In his dying declaration, cops said, the journalist blamed Verma for ordering the attack and narrated how a similar attempt had been made on his life on April 28.
“They (the raiding police team) had a heated argument with my father, caught hold of him, poured petrol over his body and set him on fire,” Raghvendra Singh, the slain journalist’s son, told TOI on Tuesday. “My father had incurred the minister’s wrath for taking up the case of the Anganwadi worker .”
The woman had recently pleaded with a local court that an FIR against the accused be registered for the crime allegedly committed on May 5 this year. Verma has then blamed “political rivals” and the now-deceased journalist of “orchestrating the incident and planting the case” against him.
Jagendra Singh’s family alleged that on Tuesday, Singh was set on fire at his Shahjanpur house by a bunch of cops and goons sent by minister Ram Murti Verma.
Mrigank Tiwari,/ TNN