Raja Bhaiya faces arrest


    LUCKNOW (TIP): The Central Bureau of Investigation on March 7 lodged four FIRs in connection with Pratapgarh violence in which three persons including deputy superintendent of police Zia-ul-Haq and two others were shot dead on Saturday last. Former minister Raghuraj Pratap Singh aliasRaja Bhaiya has been named as one of the accised in the FIR along with four others in connection with killing of the DSP. Raja Bhaiya, who belongs to family which once ruled the Beti princely estate, is an independent MLA from Kunda. Feudalism still rules Kunda and Raja Bhaiya’s word is still said to be the law in the area. He was forced to resign from the post of minister from theAkhilesh Yadav government after he was accused by DSP’s widow of conspiring to kill her husband. Sources said that the FIR registered by the CBI names Om Srivastava, Gulshan Yadav, Guddu Singh and Rohit Singh, besides Raja Bhaiyya. Sources said that the CBI team will arrive Kunda for investigation on Friday and is expected to question Raja Bhaiya. The high profile leader also faces threat of arrest. Already, two CBI inquiries are pending against Raja Bhaiya — one in connection with the mysterious death of a police officer RS Pandey, who raided Raja Bhaiya’s house in Kunda and arrested him in 2002 during Mayawati rule, in an accident and another on food grain scam. Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav referred the case to the CBI on the demand of DSP’s widow Parveen and public pressure.

    There are eight other criminal cases against 44-year-old Raja Bhaiya in police records. Haq was killed by a mob at Balipur village in Kunda, Pratapgarh, on Saturday last when he had reached there to control violence which erupted after village Pradhan Nanhe Yadav was shot dead over a land dispute. A few hours later, Nanhe’s brother Suresh was also shot dead in clashes between the two rival groups. Haq was attacked as soon as he reached the village. The police personnel escorting him fled and did nothing to save their senior who was brutally assaulted and then shot dead. Post mortem report confirmed that there serious injuries on his head, several ribs were also fractured and injuries indicated that he was dragged for several metres on the ground before being shot dead by the assailants. Slain officer’s service revolver and the bullet that killed him are missing. Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday visited Haq’s family in Deoria and met his widow. He assured strict action against those responsible for DSP’s murder and accepted all the demands of the family. On Wednesday, Akhilesh also visited the family Nanhe Yadav and assured that people involved in the conspiracy will not be spared. The eight police personnel who deserted DSP when he was being attacked have been suspended and the process to sack them on charges of ‘cowardice in performance of duty’ has begun.

    Raja Bhaiya’s two aides Guddu Singh and Rohit Singh named in the FIR lodged initially with the UP police were arrested on Sunday itself but he was not touched so far. The CBI will take custody of the two arrested accused and may for second autopsy of the slain officer. Raja Bhaiya has been arrested twice in the past, each time when Mayawati was the chief minister. In 2002, he was arrested after being accused of kidnapping by a BJP MLA. Later, Mayawati slapped Prevention of Terrorist Act on him after police allegedly recovered sophisticated weapons from his house during a raid. Mayawati was angry with Raja Bhaiya because he played a crucial role in engineering defection in her party in 1997, leading to fall of her government. However, when the SP came to power in 2003, the then chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav revoked POTA and later made Raja Bhaiya a minister. However, Raja Bhaiya was arrested again in 2010 during Maya rule on kidnapping charges but was released later. He became a minister again when SP came to power in 2012.

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