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UP scribe death: Forensic report gives clean chit to accused minister

Jagendra Singh was allegedly burnt alive for writing against U.P. Minister Ram Murti Verma  

The forensic report of the Uttar Pradesh Police in the alleged murder of the Uttar Pradesh journalist has given a clean chit to the accused Minister in the Akhilesh Yadav Cabinet, Ram Murti Verma.

It concluded that the scribe committed self-immolation, thus neutralising the charge of murder against Mr. Verma and the police officials suspended after Singh died on June 8.

This comes a day after the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav assured 'justice' to the family of the journalist. He also promised Rs. 30 lakh compensation and jobs to both sons, while meeting the family members on Monday.

Reliable sources told The Hindu the forensic report has in its report said " there are enough evidence to suggest that the burn injuries on Singh's body were self-inflicted".

The report, however, stands in complete contradiction with Jagendra's dying declaration video, shot moments before he breathed his last, in which he had named Mr.Verma responsible for his fate.

Party sources said the "exercise of defending the BC Minister gets completed with the forensic report." This besides the testimony of the main witness in the case would facilitate a clean chit to the Minister, the government sources added. An anganwadi worker who was also a friend of the journalist, who the police claimed was the only witness to Jagendra's immolation, made a U- Turn last week and said that Jagendra immolated himself when the police raided his house to arrest him in a case registered against him last month. She had earlier claimed that he was burnt by the cops who barged into his house.

The forensic team had on June 11 inspected the Shahjahanpur house and reconstructed the sequence of events which led to Jagendra being burnt at his house. "The forensic report concludes that Jagendra poured kerosene over himself and burnt himself in which he sustained serious burn injuries to which he succumbed to a week later on June 8," said a source. The report noted there were "more wounds on the left side of Jagendra's abdomen, just below his chest."

"This indicated that he had poured kerosene over himself with his right hand. Besides, he sustained burn injuries on lower half of the body which usually is not the case of someone else pours the inflammable fuel on the burnt body," added the source. Sources in the forensic team which prepared the report told The Hindu on condition of anonymity that "the lower part of the body is affected only if the person himself pours the fuel on the body. But if a person pours fuel on a other person the upper part of the body gets affected".

Jagendra's family refused to react to the report saying that they would wait for a week as promised by the Chief Minister. " We would again sit on dharna if we don't get justice," Jagendra's son Rahul told The Hindu on phone.

After meeting the CHief Minister on Monday the family members of Jagendra Singh had said that they were letting go of their demands of removal of the Minister Verma and a CBI probe in the matter. The same day the Apex Court had pulled up the UP government and asked why a CBI investigation should not be ordered in the journalist death.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 11:24:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/up-scribe-death-forensic-report-gives-clean-chit-to-accused-minister/article7350108.ece

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