The Lucknow police on Friday produced before a local court three people in the murder case of Hindu outfit leader Ranjeet Bachchan.
All three — Bachchan’s second wife Smriti Srivastava, her alleged paramour Deependra Verma and driver Sanjeet Gautam — have been sent them to judicial custody.
“All three accused — Smriti Srivastava, Deependra and Sanjeet — were today produced before a local court of Lucknow which sent them to judicial custody,” said Hazratganj Additional Police Commissioner Abhay Kumar Mishra.
Police are still conducting searches to trace Deependra’s cousin Jitendra Verma, the alleged shooter. They said they have announced a reward of Rs 50,000 on his head.
Last week, Bachchan, the head of the Vishwa Hindu Mahasabha, was shot dead in Lucknow’s Hazratganj area, while his cousin was injured. His first wife Kalindi Sharma Bachchan accused members of another community killing her husband as he was a “Hinduwaadi leader”.
On Thursday, police said they had cracked the case and arrested Smriti, Deependra and Sanjeet.
They ruled out any terror motive and said that the murder was planned by Smriti, who was having an extra-marital relationship with Deependra and wanted to marry him.
Police said Smriti and Deependra hatched a conspiracy of murder because Bachchan was not ready to leave Smriti.
Pandey said during their investigations, police came to know that Bachchan’s relationship with his second wife, whom he had married in 2014, had turned sour. Smriti had filed for separation in a family court in 2016 but Bachchan had so far not appeared before the court.
The last date of hearing was scheduled for January 27, on which Ranjeet had again not appeared.
Pandey said Smriti told police that the immediate reason of provocation which led to the murder occurred on January 17, when Bachchan wanted to take Smriti to celebrate their anniversary, but when she refused, he slapped her.
Pandey said, “Smriti has confessed that she wanted to marry Deependra and wanted to get rid of Ranjeet. A conspiracy was hatched to eliminate Ranjeet.”
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