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Murder of Dalit pradhan: As cops plan narco tests, family says ‘probe unfair’

Dwarka Prasad Rao (65), who belonged to the Pasi community under the Scheduled Caste category, was elected as the head of Karnai village in the Jarwal block in the recent panchayat polls, the results for which were announced on May 2.

By: Express News Service | Lucknow |
August 4, 2021 4:44:14 am
Rao was shot on the night of June 16 while he was sleeping on the balcony of his home. He died on June 20 while undergoing treatment in Lucknow.

More than a month after the murder of a newly elected Dalit village head in Bahraich district, police have sought permission from a local court to get narco tests done on two members of his family and two persons named by the family members as accused for the murder.

Dwarka Prasad Rao (65), who belonged to the Pasi community under the Scheduled Caste category, was elected as the head of Karnai village in the Jarwal block in the recent panchayat polls, the results for which were announced on May 2.

The seat for the village head was reserved for the general category. Rao was shot on the night of June 16 while he was sleeping on the balcony of his home. He died on June 20 while undergoing treatment in Lucknow.

Bahraich SP Sujata Singh said on Tuesday that the family members who need to undergo narco tests are not cooperating with the police. “We are taking action in the case as per rules and based on evidence. We requested the deputy director of the medico-legal cell of Lucknow, Gayasuddin Khan, to visit Bahraich and recreated the crime scene for him. He advised that both sides – complainant and the accused – should undergo Narco tests. Based on that, the investigating officer filed an appeal for Narco tests, which was supported by those with the accused but not by those with the complainants. The lawyer representing the latter has got fresh dates delaying the matter. They are protesting at the Collectorate. The third date is August 10. We hope that the complainants cooperate and get narco tests done,” the Bahraich SP said.

Rao’s son Ram Manohar alleged that police are not conducting a fair probe in the case, adding that the family has no objection to a narco test. “We are ready for the narco test,” said Ram Manohar, aged 40.

He added when he went to Lucknow to get his father treated after the attack, the police visited his house and made his nephew sign on a blank piece of paper. “They wrote the initial complaint on the blank piece of paper on their own without consulting us,” Ram Manohar said. The family has been holding a sit-in at the Collectorate in protest against “inaction by police”, over the last five days.

“We visited the police station with a fresh complaint after my father died and his last rites were performed. But the police did not file the FIR on our complaint. We had named Amit Kumar Singh, Brijesh Singh, Ram Bahadur Singh and Mohammad Imran (as accused). They had been threatening my father and abusing him. They were also rival candidates in the election this time,” Rao said.

“They told my father that they will not let him remain Pradhan for long. The day my father was killed, Brijesh Singh had said that his tenure would end soon,” the son said.

Jarwal Road SHO Pramod Kumar Singh said that the police have filed an application in court seeking permission for narco tests on four people – two from complainant’s side and two from among people named by the family in their complaint. He refused to give out names of people who need to undergo narco tests. “The case is under investigation and we are doing everything possible. The allegation that we obtained a signature on a blank piece of paper is false,” the SHO said.

Tweeting on the alleged inaction, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati said, “The family members of the Dalit Pradhan in Bahraich, who was murdered, have been protesting at the Collectorate. They are demanding arrest of the people they have named. But the UP government is silent. This is tragic.”

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