Ballia police on Tuesday said they have arrested six persons in connection with the murder of a 42-year-old TV journalist in Phephna area of the district on Monday night. Police have also suspended the local SHO Shashi Mauli Pandey for “negligence”.
Ratan Singh, who worked with Sahara Samay news channel, was found dead with bullet wounds inside the residence of village pradhan of Khetna on Monday evening.
According to Circle Officer (Phephna) Chandrakesh Singh, the victim’s family had named 10 people in the FIR, of whom six have been arrested.
Among those arrested are the husband of village pradhan, Sushil Kumar Singh alias Jhabhar, Sunil Kumar Singh alias Sonu, Arvind Kumar Singh, Dinesh Kumar Singh, Veer Bahadur Singh alias Putul and Vinay Kumar Singh alias Moti Singh.
Most of the accused are relatives of Ratan Singh, the police officer added.
According to the FIR, Jhabhar Singh’s brother, Sonu, had come to the journalist’s house on Monday evening and asked him to accompany him to their residence where they shot him after beating him up with sticks.
The Circle Officer said that though the victim’s family did not mention the reason for the murder in the complaint, a land dispute led to it.
“During the preliminary inquiry, it has come to light that there was a land dispute between Ratan Singh and the accused. The land is next to Ratan Singh’s house. A year ago, the two sides had filed FIRs against each other over the dispute in which Ratan Singh was also named. Later, police dropped Ratan Singh’s name from the case. Police have also filed chargesheet in the 2019 case… Recently, both sides had clashed again over the possession of the land,” the Circle Officer said.
All the six arrested were produced before a local court on Tuesday, which sent them to judicial custody.
Ballia police had on Monday said that the murder had “nothing to do with journalism”.
CM to give Rs 10 lakh to journalist’s family
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh for the family of the deceased and offered condolences.
The Ballia Working Journalist Union, however, demanded an ex-gratia of Rs 1 crore and a government job for the wife of Ratan Singh. The Samajwadi Party announced a financial assistance of Rs 2 lakh for the family of the journalist and asked the government to give Rs 50 lakh to the victim’s family.
—With PTI INputs
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