The brother-in-law of jailed gangster Prem Prakash Singh alias Munna Bajrangi and his friend were shot dead by unidentified assailants in Lucknow’s Vikas Nagar area on late Saturday.
The deceased have been identified as Pushpjeet Singh (42), a lawyer and Sanjay Mishra, a teacher at a government school in Jaunpur.
Singh, who had been pursuing the cases of Munna Bajrangi in courts, had left his house at night to pick up Mishra, who was visiting Lucknow to attend an engagement ceremony, police said. While he was returning home with Mishra, Singh’s car was chased by two motorcycle-borne persons.
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When Singh tried to speed away, his car hit an electricity pole, following which, both assailants opened fire on the two, police said.
SSP Rajesh Kumar Pandey said 12 to 14 rounds were fired by the assailants with 9mm pistols. Singh and Mishra suffered injuries and the assailants left only after ensuring that they were dead.
“The murders appear to be handiwork of professional killers, who had already done the recce before attacking Singh. The lawyer had a few cases, including those of extortion, lodged against him. We are collecting the details from Amethi and Jaunpur districts,” Pandey said. Singh hailed from Jagdishpur in Amethi district.
Singh’s brother-in-law Vikas Srivastava, who has lodged a complaint with the police, accused the family of late former MLA Krishnanand Rai — including his brothers Manoj, Brajesh and one Anand Rai — for the murders. Rai was murdered in 2005. Munna Bajrangi, the main accused in the case, was arrested in 2009. He is currently lodged in Jhansi jail.
Singh was instrumental in pursuing the cases lodged against Bajrangi, including the one on Rai’s murder, which is under trial in Delhi’s Tees Hazari court, Srivastava has claimed in his complaint. He had alleged that Rai’s relatives had threatened Singh in the past.
When contacted, Mishra’s brother-in-law Sarvesh Pandey said: “Mishra had come to Lucknow to attend a function. He was supposed to return to Allahabad by a train in the night. But he changed his plan after speaking to Singh, his college friend, who offered to drop him to Allahabad the next day. He was scheduled to go to Varanasi.”
He added: “Mishra had no enmity with anyone and had come to Lucknow after visiting his wife, also a teacher, at Kendriya Vidyalaya at Mankapur in Gonda.”
Investigators believe that Mishra was killed just because he was accompanying Singh. “We are looking at all angles, including the rivalry with Rai’s family and business related disputes, as Singh was also involved in construction business,” said the SSP.