AN FIR against Samajwadi Party MLA Sunil Kumar Lala, two police officers and 12 other people was registered in connection with the murder of a Dalit man in June 2014 after a local court gave directions in this regard.
The FIR, which comes over a year-and-a-half later, was registered by the Maigalganj police station charging the 15 accused of murder, theft, criminal intimidation and SC/ST Act based on a complaint filed by victim Padum Singh’s mother Gangajali. She had alleged her son was killed in a fake police encounter in Lakhimpur Kheri, from where the SP MLA had won the election for Kasta constituency. The two officers booked for the murder are the then station officer of Maigalganj police station Vishwanath Yadav and constable Sanjeev Kumar.
Twelve other accused are residents of Laloha and Musliganj villages. No arrests have been made so far, police said.
Investigating Officer in the case, Mithlesh Dixit, who is the Circle Officer of Lakhimpur Kheri’s Mitauli area, said police have started the investigation in the murder case and confirmed that the FIR has been registered.
Lakhimpur Kheri police had claimed that 36-year-old Padum Singh was gunned down in crossfire at Shripalpur village on June 29, 2014. The two accused officers had reportedly suffered pellet injuries. The police had claimed it recovered a country-made pistol and cartridges from Padum’s possession.
A few months after the encounter, Gangajali had filed an application in the court, seeking direction for lodging an FIR. Quoting from her complaint, police said the mother alleged that on the fateful day, her son had been been called by the MLA at his house “to settle some dispute”. When Padum showed up at his house, the MLA handed him over to the police who later killed him and cooked up an encounter story. Gangajali had also alleged that the police never gave her son’s body to her for final rites.
MLA Lala, when contacted, said Padum’s family took his name “on the direction of my political opponents”. “I never met Padum but had heard about him through local residents when he was alive. I have nothing to do with his death,” he claimed.
Station House Officer, Mitauli police station, Gulab Shankar Pandey said Padum was a “history-sheeter with around 10 criminal cases registered against him”. A native of Babiya village, Padum is survived by his wife Nanhi Devi and three children.