Other States

UP journalist killing: Five policemen suspended, no action yet against Minister

Though pressure is mounting on the Uttar Pradesh government to bring the killers of social media journalist Jagendra Singh to book, there is no action in sight against the main accused, Rammurti Verma, a member of the Akhilesh Cabinet.

There were indications that the State government may announce a CID inquiry but Singh’s family members reiterated their demand for a CBI inquiry.

“We don’t have any faith in the State police. How can we trust the police to investigate the murder of my father when its personnel themselves are in the dock for orchestrating his murder?” said Rahul, the journalist’s son. Rahul alleged that the family was under pressure to drop the case against the Minister. Mr. Verma’s name figures in the FIR registered by him. “We have been getting offers to drop the case in lieu of compensation and job offer from the ruling party,” he added.

PIL filed

Meanwhile, a Public Interest Litigation was also filed in Allahabad High Court seeking directions for a CBI probe into the scribe’s death. The petition may come up for hearing on Monday.

According to sources, the Chief Minister was keen on sacking Mr. Verma but the ruling Samajwadi Party was divided. Important party leaders like Shivpal Yadav and Ramgopal Yadav have reportedly told Mr. Akhilesh that the party’s image would take a beating if the Minister was sacked.

Meanwhile, SP MLA Ravidas Mehrotra on Saturday wrote to the Chief Minister, demanding that Mr. Verma be sacked to ensure that investigations are carried out without any hindrance.

Mr. Verma and eight policemen were booked by the Shahjahanpur police on charges of murder. Singh, singlehandedly used to run “Shahajahanpur Samachar,” a Facebook page where he had written about Mr. Verma’s illegal mining business and cases of corruption which reportedly angered Mr. Verma.

“Ram Murti Verma can have me killed. At this time, politicians, thugs, and police, all are after me. Writing about the truth has gone against my life,” Singh, in his late forties, wrote on May 22 on his Facebook profile.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 7:54:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/up-journalist-killing-five-policemen-suspended-no-action-yet-against-minister/article7313534.ece

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