• Saturday, June 13, 2015 - 05:30
  "If they wanted to arrest me, they could have done just that. Why did they have to beat me and set me on fire," says journalist Jagendra Singh writhing in pain, in a video which was reportedly taken while he made his declaration to the magistrate on June 8. Singh died from his injuries on the same day. In a statement before his death, he had accused Kotwali Inspector Sriprakash Rai of setting him on fire on June 1. In the video, which has been posted on Facebook, he also names the other people, including several police officers, allegedly involved in the brutal attack on him. Singh was not a conventional journalist- he single-handedly ran a Facebook “newspaper” that took on the town Shahjahanpur’s political-criminal-police nexus. On June 1, Jagendra put up a Facebook post titled “Rinku Yadav’s MLC ticket being sabotaged by Ram Murti Verma”. On the very same day he was set on fire. Verma is a Samajwadi Party MLA from Akbarpur, and is the Minister of State for Backward Classes Welfare. Jagendra’s family has held the minister responsible for his death, and has also alleged police collusion. On June 9, an FIR was filed against nine people including Verma and five police officers. The family also claimed that the police are under political pressure. Following Singh's death, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) based in New York has called for an independent investigation into the case. Amnesty International has also called for an inquiry into the matter. Dying declaration The Supreme Court in 2013 said that any member of public could record the statement of a dying person, the bench said the only caveat was that the person recording the dying declaration must be sure that the one making the statement was in a proper mental condition to do so. Section 32 of the Indian Evidence Act says such statements are relevant whether the person who made them was or was not, at the time when they were made, under exception of death, and whatever may be the nature of the proceeding in which the cause of his death comes into question. Graphic content in video, please watch with discretion अपने अन्तिम समय मे पत्रकार ने कया कहाँ देखो Posted by Sunilkumar Sharma on Thursday, June 11, 2015 Read: They hounded and killed him, a son recounts how journalist father was set on fire