A day after a Shahjahanpur-based freelance journalist died from burn injuries at a Lucknow hospital, his son Tuesday got a case lodged against MoS for Backward Class Welfare Ram Murti Singh Verma, his four associates and four policemen for allegedly setting ablaze Jagendra Singh at his house on June 1.
The case was registered after Singh’s (42) family refused to conduct his last rites on Tuesday. Later in the afternoon, he was cremated.
His son Rajan alleged that Singh was set on fire because he regularly posted stories on Facebook exposing the minister’s alleged corrupt practices, including land grab. He claimed that the local police was also harassing Singh at Verma’s behest.
Prakash Rai, who has also been named in the FIR, was then posted as SHO at the City Kotwali police station.
A native of Khutar town, Singh had earlier worked in local Hindi daily newspapers. He was staying alone in Awas Vikas Colony in Shahjahanpur for the last 10 years while his wife and three children lived in Khutar.
Rajan said his father posted the stories on Facebook on the basis of information he got through RTI and other sources. “Ram Murti Singh Verma and his associates were threatening my father for the past few days and police was acting at his behest. The minister’s three associates, who attacked my father on April 28 were not arrested. A few days later, police lodged a false case against my father,” he alleged.
The FIR against Singh was lodged on May 15 at City Kotwali on a complaint by a local, Amit Bhadouria. He had claimed that Singh and his alleged associates — Anurag Mishra and Vinod Kumar — had attacked and tried to kidnap him. They faced charges under sections 307 (attempt to murder) and 363 (kidnapping) of the IPC.
“A police team led by then SHO Prakash Rai had gone to Singh’s house on June 1 to arrest him. But Singh went to his terrace and started hurling abuse at the team… While the policemen were trying to pacify him, he poured kerosene oil on himself,” Kotwali SHO K K Tiwari said.