The night before he was allegedly burnt to death for Facebook posts exposing a minister’s alleged corrupt practices, Shahjahanpur-based freelance journalist Jagendra Singh had received two late night phone calls on his mobile phone-one from a number that he had saved with the name “MLA”.
This critical bit of information, unearthed by the three-member fact-finding team set up by the Press Council of India to inquire Singh’s alleged killing, could soon be at the centre of the police probe into the case in which UP minister Ram Murti Singh Verma, four of his associates and four policemen are under the scanner.
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“On the night of May 31, the deceased Jagendra Singh got two phone calls a little late into the night. One of the calls was from a number which Singh had saved as ‘MLA’ on his phone,” a Press Council of India official — privy to the PCI probe — told The Indian Express.
The official added that it appeared as if the UP police had so far not even investigated this angle and was not even in the know of the deceased’s cellphone details.
In their meeting with Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on June 17, the PCI team is learnt to have underlined how the state government had shown no promptness in conducting an inquiry.