Man listed as Haldwani violence victim later found to be murdered over illicit relationship with policeman’s wife

The Uttarakhand police arrest the constable and his friends for the murder of Bihar native

Published - February 16, 2024 04:01 am IST - New Delhi:

Days after terming him victim of violence that broke in Haldwani on February 8, the Uttarakhand police on Thursday said the death of Bihar native Prakash Singh was not related to Banbhoolpura riots and that he was murdered by a policeman due to his illicit relationship with his wife. With this, the death toll in the February 8 violence was reduced to 5.

Briefing the media about Prakash’s death, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Nainital, Prahlad Narayan Meena said four persons were arrested on February 15 (Thursday) for the murder.

“On February 9, police received information of a body lying on the main road near the Indranagar railway gate. From the documents found from the clothes of the deceased, he was identified as Prakash Singh,” said the SSP.

After the preliminary probe, the police included Prakash’s name in the victims of violence. An FIR was registered and the family of the deceased was informed.

Pintoo Singh, Prakash’s brother-in-law, who reached Haldwani to receive the body, told the media that his brother-in-law, who hails from a poor family, had come to the city in search of a job and was killed in the violence within hours of his landing here.

“During the investigation we found that the deceased was in contact with a youth named Suraj from Sitarganj. He was also talking to many numbers in Uttarakhand. We spoke to persons he contacted after coming to Haldwani with the help of his call records,” Mr. Meena said.

The SSP added that during interrogation, Suraj, who was a friend of the deceased for about two and a half years, informed that he had illicit relations with his sister Priyanka. Suraj said Priyanka was married to one of the police constables posted in Haldwani, named Birendra Singh.

“Prakash was threatening the constable’s wife by making a video of his illicit physical relationship with her and was demanding money. Priyanka hid the issue from her husband Birendra but on February 7, the constable got to know about Prakash. The constable and his friends planned to kill him,” the SSP said.

The senior police official added that Prakash was called to Haldwani by Priyanka and the murder was executed.

The police arrested constable Birendra Singh (36), Suraj Bain (28) along with Prem Singh (30) and Naeem Khan (50) for the murder.

Priyanka managed to flee before the police reached her house.

Curfew relaxed

Meanwhile, the district administration on Thursday announced relaxation in curfew in the Banbhoolpura area where violence broke last week after the demolition of a mosque and a madrasa during an anti-encroachment drive, leading to the death of five persons and injuring many. Curfew was imposed in the entire district after the violence which was later lifted from the rest of the city and remained in place in Banbhoolpura, the violence site.

District Magistrate (DM) Vandana Singh issued orders for relaxation in the curfew in Gaujajali, Railway Bazar, and FCI godown, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. She said curfew would be relaxed in rest of Banbhoolpura between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. The DM visited the violence site on Thursday and inspected the supplies of essentials.

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