Jagendra Singh, a Shahjahanpur based journalist, died after he was burnt alive by a police officer for a Facebook post against Samajwadi Party MLA Ram Murti. Many local journalists hang on to his facebook page ‘Shahjahanpur Samachar’, looking for story cues. He was fearless and very vocal in posting about the scams and scandals by local political parties and authorities. Singh, who earlier worked for local Hindi dailies, found his Facebook wall a better medium to post stories. His stories revolved around local politics and routine incidents of crime. The Shahjahanpur journalist who wrote extensively against alleged cases of corruption and illegal mining by the Minister had received repeated threats to his life. Most of the time, his reports were followed up by mainstream and local publications and TV channels, something which had allegedly angered the Minister. The Shahjahanpur police had initially maintained that the journalist had committed suicide but after public outrage, registered a murder case against the Minister and the policemen.
After completing an ITI course, Singh worked for some private firms in Amroha and Rudrapur districts. He left the job after getting married in 1989 and returned to his native place, Khutar, to open a general merchant’s shop. It was in 2003, that he began working as a journalist. Singh later moved to Shahjahanpur city, while his wife stayed in Khutar with their two sons. Due to his short temper and aggressive journalism, Singh was unable to stay with one newspaper for a long.
The local police, meanwhile, allege that Singh also indulged in some “unlawful activities”, resulting in five criminal cases being filed against him. Police said four cases on charges of assault and criminal intimidation were registered against him between 2005 and 2007. If believed on locals then, they describe Jagendra Singh as a short-tempered man, who used to fights on trivial issues. The last case registered against Singh was on May 12. He was accused by another journalist, Amit Pratap Singh alias Amit Bhadauria — who also posted stories under the title ‘Shahjahanpur Samachar’ — of kidnapping him. Singh accused Bhadauria of acting on Verma’s orders. Ten days later, Singh’s Facebook post alleged that he feared that the minister will eliminate him. On June 1, Singh landed at the hospital with serious burn injuries. The dispute began with a story, posted on April 18, accusing a district supply officer, allegedly close to Verma, for issuing Above Poverty Line (APL) ration cards to 27,493 persons, despite a state government ban on issuing them.
This is much more than a blatant attack not only on ‘Freedom of Press’ by the criminals occupying space in politics with the help of criminals in Khaki. They are eliminating fearless journalists those who are doing their duty and are hurdles to these criminals’ who have nexus between Khadi and Khaki. There is no outrage on these incidents, whereas this should be termed as ‘attack on humanity’. Cases where these Politicians-Police nexus involved should be booked under severe charges and should be awarded severe punishment. Mafia Raj is returning in Uttar Pradesh as the Father –Son duo had captured the government and the Law and Order situation is worst in a decade. Shame on UP government, its administration and specifically people who elected such criminals to power.
Actually, there is ignorance among people. Politicians believe themselves as a king after winning the election. Policemen for saving transfer and job consider these ministers as their masters and public regard as itself common man who just do hardship for their livelihood. All are ignorant to understand the meaning of public servant. Mafias have grown under patronage of public servants only. Corruption and crony capitalism flows in Indian system. Judiciary works on evidence and in this case Verma will go free for lack of evidence. In this country, if you want to be a happy then don’t challenge corrupt people in power, this is the message to be conveyed by these incidences.
In a dying declaration on video, shot just before he breathed his last, he said, “Why did they have to burn me? If the Minister and his people had something against me, they could have hit me and beaten me, instead of pouring kerosene over me and burning me.” In the video, a copy of which is available on social network, that has gone viral in which the journalist blamed Ram Murti Verma, Minister for Dairy Development, for his death. The video is very scary and disturbing. The dying declaration of Singh, claimed his two sons, Rahul and Raghvendra, only further proves the involvement of Verma, who as per indications coming from a meeting of the top brass of the Samajwadi Party, is expected to be dismissed.
A Public Interest Litigation has been filed in Allahabad High Court seeking directions for a CBI probe into the death of Jagendra Singh. The Uttar Pradesh government suspended five policemen in connection with his killing but none of them are yet to be arrested. Following the court’s permission, the police are likely to initiate penal action against Verma, who has already been charged with murder and criminal conspiracy. If we compare then this incidence is similar to the attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine. Here the only difference between the two attacks are one was done by terrorists and another was attacked by minister, who is being elected by the common man.