Lucknow Police on Thursday arrested three people, including the second wife of victim Ranjit Bachchan, in connection with his murder in Lucknow. The couple has been living separately for a few years. Police claimed that the murder of the 40-year-old victim, leader of a little-known Hindutva outfit, was planned by his second wife who was allegedly having an extra-marital relationship and wanted to marry another person.
Ranjeet was shot dead while he was on a morning walk in Hazratganj area of Lucknow on Sunday. Besides Ranjit’s second wife Smriti Srivastava, her alleged paramour Deependra Verma and his driver Sanjeet Gautam were also arrested. Police are yet to arrest alleged killer Jitendra. Police, however, ruled out any terror angle and claimed that the motive behind the murder was Smriti’s alleged affair with her paramour Verma. They added both had allegedly hatched the conspiracy because Ranjeet was not ready to leave Smriti.
Lucknow Police Commissioner Sujeet Pandey told media that police arrested Smriti from her house at Vikas Nagar Colony, Gautam from Mohanlalganj area of Lucknow and Verma from the UP-Bihar border on Thursday. He added that a reward of Rs 50,000 has been declared for anyone who helps police arrest Jitendra.
Verma was the chief conspirator and Smriti part of the plot. Gautam was driving the vehicle used in crime, said police.
On Sunday morning, Ranjeet along with his cousin Aditya Srivastava were on their morning walk when assailants stopped them and opened fire. A bullet hit Ranjeet’s face while Aditya suffered a bullet injury on his left arm. Police had initially said the assailants wanted to snatch cellphones from the victims. Ranjeet, hailing from Gorakhpur, was president of Vishwa Hindu Mahasabha and living with his first wife Kalindi Sharma Bachchan in Hazratganj. After the murder, Kalindi had accused ‘Muslims’ of killing her husband as he was a “Hinduwaadi leader”.
Four policemen were suspended for laxity and police released photos of suspects and announced a reward of Rs 50,000 for any information on them. Ranjeet was in regular touch with his second wife, said police.
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