UP journalist 'burnt alive': 5 policemen suspended; family seeks CBI probe

The Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday evening suspended five policemen in connection with the alleged killing of journalist Jagendra Singh in Shahjahanpur.

Last Updated: Jun 14, 2015, 00:54 AM IST
UP journalist 'burnt alive': 5 policemen suspended; family seeks CBI probe

Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday evening suspended five policemen in connection with the alleged killing of journalist Jagendra Singh in Shahjahanpur. 

According to media reports, the five suspended policemen includes Kotwali police station inspector Prakash Rai, two sub inspector rank officers and two constables.

The journalist in Shahjahanpur district was allegedly set ablaze by a group of raiding policemen who had come to investigate why he was writing on social media against the minister for dairy development, Ram Murti Verma on June 1 after which he died on June 8 during treatment.

In a gut-wrenching video, Jagendra, while lying on a hospital bed, said that the UP Minister Ram Murti Verma and his goons could have beaten him instead of setting ablaze. He also took the name of Prakash Rai.

"Why did they have to burn me? If the minister and his goons had a grudge, they could have beaten me instead of pouring kerosene and burning me. Police team, led by inspector Sri Prakash Rai, barged into the house and started assaulting me. They could have arrested me," the journalist said in the video, played by a news website.

Meanwhile, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in Allahabad High Court seeking directions for a CBI probe into the death of scribe Jagendra Singh.

The PIL was filed on June 11 by an NGO and is likely be come up for hearing on June 15. The petition said that the incident was so serious in nature that it calls for a CBI probe.

A direction was also sought for providing proper compensation to the scribe's family.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary (Home), DGP and others have been made opposite parties in this matter, the petitioner said.

Earlier in the day, demanding that those responsible for the death of journalist Jagendra Singh be taken into custody, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alleged that there is 'jungle raaj' in Uttar Pradesh where people take law into their hands.

"Akhilesh Yadav should put the accused into custody because only this will bring justice to the family of the journalist who has been killed," ANI quoted BJP spokesperson Shrikant Sharma as saying.

"If you look at Uttar Pradesh from the perspective of law then it is a society of 'jungle raaj', there (in Uttar Pradesh) the people take the law into their hands. This is a very unfortunate incident," he added.

Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik had also has asked the chief minister to take all necessary action in the journalist's murder case.

The scribe was burnt alive reportedly by Uttar Pradesh Minister Rammurti Singh Verma's henchmen and some police officials on June 1. He succumbed to his burn injuries a week later in a hospital in Lucknow.

The journalist's family has demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the matter.

An FIR was registered against minister for Backward Classes Welfare Ram Murti Verma, Inspector (Chowk) Sri Prakash Rai, Gufran, Akash Gupta, Amit Pratap Singh and Bhure for killing Jagendra. But so far, no arrests have been.

In Shahjahanpur's Khutar area where the incident occurred, the journalists are organizing protests and demonstration demanding that the culprits be arrested at the earliest.

(With Agency inputs)