Three people, including the wife of the leader of a right-wing Hindu outfit Ranjeet Bachchan, were arrested in connection with his murder, a senior police official said on Thursday.
Smriti Srivastava, described as Bachchan’s second wife, her friend Deependra and driver Sanjeet Gautam were arrested, Lucknow Police Commissioner Sujit Pandey said.
Smriti told police that a divorce case was going on between her and Bachchan since 2016, but he was delaying the process by not appearing for court proceedings, Pandey said.
She claimed that Bachchan was creating hurdles in her marriage with Deependra.
Saffron-clad Bachchan, 40, who had founded the Vishwa Hindu Mahasabha, was shot dead on February 2 while he was out on a morning walk, barely a couple of kilometres away from the high-security Uttar Pradesh legislature complex in the heart of the state capital. His cousin Aditya Srivastava was also injured in the attack.
“Those involved in the murder are Smriti Srivastava (second wife), her friend Deependra, Sanjeet Gautam (driver) and Jeetendra (the shooter). Deependra was the person who convinced everyone to commit the crime. Smriti was part of the whole conspiracy. We arrested Sanjeet Gautam from Lucknow, Deependra has been arrested from UP-MP border and Smriti too has been arrested from Vikasnagar (in Lucknow),” the police commissioner told reporters here.
Elaborating about the incident, Pandey said, “Three people (Deependra, Sanjeet and Jeetendra) moved from Rae Bareli at 2.30 am (on the intervening night of February 1 and 2). On February 2, Deependra was dropped at Hazratganj crossing, the shooter was dropped near Capitol cinema hall crossing. At 5.40 am, Ranjeet Bachchan, Kalindi and Aditya moved out from their home for morning walk. The shooter followed them in Hazratganj, and attacked them outside Globe Park.”
Twelve teams were formed to nab the accused persons, the police commissioner said, adding that efforts were underway to arrest Jeetender, the shooter.
Earlier, four police personnel, including a sub-inspector, were suspended for alleged laxity.
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