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Dreaded gangster Munna Bajrangi shot dead inside Baghpat jail; several officials suspended

Dreaded gangster Munna Bajrangi has been shot dead inside the district jail in Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh, reported news agency ANI on Monday.

Dreaded gangster Munna Bajrangi shot dead inside Baghpat jail; several officials suspended

Dreaded gangster Munna Bajrangi has been shot dead inside the district jail in Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh. He was reportedly shot dead by another convict, Sunil Rathi, lodged in the jail.

This comes on a day when Munna Bajrangi was slated to be produced before a court in Baghpat. On Sunday, the Uttar Pradesh gangster, accused in the murder of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Krishnanand Rai, was transferred from Jhansi to Baghpat.

Reacting to the incident, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered judicial inquiry and suspension of the jailor. He said, "Such an incident occurring inside jail premises is a serious matter. We will conduct an in-depth investigation and strict action will be taken against those responsible."

Munna Bajrangi's lawyer V Srivastava confirmed that the gangster was shot dead by a convict lodged in the jail who hid the pistol in a gutter after committing the crime. "He was brought to District Jail Baghpat from Jhansi last (Sunday) night. At 6.30 am today, a convict lodged in the jail shot him dead and hid the pistol in a gutter. Few days ago, we had made UP CM aware of threat to his life," he said.

According to Additional Director General - Prison, the convict who shot at Bajrangi is Sunil Rathi. He fired the bullet following an altercation with the gangster.

"There was altercation between Sunil Rathi and him after which he shot him dead. He has been detained and is being interrogated. Jailor, deputy jailor, warden and head warden have been suspended. Have requested judicial and magisterial inquiry," he said.

Notably, his wife Seema Singh had few days back claimed that there was threat to her husband's life. She had also informed Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath about the possible threat, alleging that the conspiracy was being hatched to kill Bajrangi in a fake encounter.

Who is Munna Bajrangi

Munna Bajrangi was born in Jaunpur district of Uttar Pradesh in 1967. While his original name was Prem Prakash Singh, he later changed it to Munna Bajrangi. He gave up education after studying till class 5.

He was quite fond of keeping weapons. According to people who knew him since his childhood, Bajrangi wanted to become a gangster like those shown in Bollywood films. The first criminal case was filed against him when he was 17. He was accused of violence and possession of illegal arms.

Later, Munna Bajrangi started working for Gajraj Singh, a noted criminal from Jaunpur. As per police records, he committed the first murder in 1984. Days after this, Munna Bajrangi murdered BJP leader Ramchandra Singh.

In 1990s, Bajrangi became a part of Mukhtar Ansari gang, which functioned from Mau. After Mukhtar Ansari became an MLA on Samajwadi Party ticket from Mau in 1996, Bajrangi began to directly influence government tenders. It is believed that he worked on the instructions of Mukhtar Ansari.

While things went well for the gang for sometime, its influence started to weaken with the rise of BJP's Krishnanand Rai. Under the guidance of Ansari's arch rival Brijesh Singh, the Krishnanand Rai gang began to flourish, posing a direct threat to the gang that Bajrangi was part of.

Miffed over this, Ansari allegedly asked Bajrangi to eliminate the enemies, following which the latter hatched a plan to kill Rai. Bajrangi allegedly killed the BJP leader on November 29, 2005. He reportedly attacked Rai's convoy on Lucknow highway using AK47. Six others were also killed in the attack. The post-mortem report of the deceased revealed that each person was hit by 60-100 bullets.

Uttar Pradesh Police, Special Task Force and the Central Bureau of Investigation went on lookout for Bajrangi over the killing of the BJP leader and other cases. They even declared a bounty of Rs 7 lakh on Bajrangi, who was by then a 'most wanted' criminal.

To escape arrest, the gangster moved to Mumbai, where he stayed for a long period. He even made visits to some foreign countries. While he strengthened his relationship with the underworld during this period, he started to manage the functioning of his gang on telephone.

Munna Bajrangi was arrested by a team of Delhi Police from Malad area in Mumbai on October 29, 2009. Many believe that fearing encounter, Bajrangi himself masterminded his arrest. Since then, he has been kept in different jails. Bajrangi had claimed that he had killed at least 40 people in a span of 20 years.