news Thursday, June 18, 2015 - 05:30
In a new turn to the case, the sole witness in the alleged murder of the Shahjahanpur-based journalist Jagendra Singh has made a U-turn and told the police in a statement on Tuesday that Singh had committed suicide. According to a report in The Hindu by Mohammad Ali, the woman was present when Singh was allegedly set on fire by Verma’s goons and members of the police. She told the police before a magistrate that Singh had set himself on fire when the police came to arrest him on June 1 for an FIR against him. The police have told the newspaper that the witness’ testimony could swing the case in the favour of State Backward Classes Welfare Minister Ram Murti Verma, who was allegedly responsible for the plot to kill Singh. In a video made before his subsequent death on June 8 due to burn injuries sustained a week prior, Singh had said that Verma was responsible for the attack on him. “If they wanted to arrest me, they could have done just that. Why did they have to beat me and set me on fire,” Singh is heard saying in the video. Also Read: Burnt journalist made a dying declaration, what more does Akhilesh need? The woman-witness is a local Angandwadi worker who had filed a case of rape against Verma and his cronies on May 5. Singh had taken up her cause and befriended her, and it was because of his articles in the social media newspaper “Shahjahanpur Samachar” against Verma that apparently irked the minister. Singh’s son Rahul has alleged undue pressure in the investigation. “People in Shahjahanpur are terrified of him. Nobody dares to speak against him. She changed her statement due to threat by Minister Verma,” he says. Singh’s family filed the FIR against Verma and his men following his death but according to a local journalist, the tide seems to have turned. “He was the main source of strength for her who was gang raped by Minister Verma and his men. It was due to him that she had the courage to move a petition to get rape charges against them. Now that he is gone, she won’t be able to fight her own battle, let alone fighting for what they did to him,” he says. Also Read: They hounded and killed him, a son recounts how journalist father was set on fire
Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.