Raja Bhaiyya pleads ‘not guilty’ in DSP murder case

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Raja Bhaiyya tendered his resignation on Monday morning. Photo: PTI

Lucknow, March 4: Raja Bhaiyya, the former minister in the Akhilesh Yadav government today, pleaded ‘not guilty’ in the UP assembly and demanded a CBI inquiry into the killing of the DSP.

He said he was innocent, a victim of a political conspiracy and had nothing to do with the killing of DSP Zia ul Haq. The DSP was lynched to death by the villagers in Belipur village, falling in the Kunda assembly constituency of Raja Bhaiyya in Pratapgarh district on Saturday. Raja Bhaiyya, the former jail minister, who was asked to resign from the cabinet today by the CM Akhilesh Yadav, has been charged with criminal conspiracy under Section 120 (B) of the IPC in the murder of the DSP.

Raja Bhaiyya who tendered his resignation today morning, had also met the UP governor BL Joshi, along with the CM Akhilesh Yadav. He had avoided media persons outside the Raj Bhawan, saying he would speak only in the state assembly.

When he stood up to make his statement in the state assembly, the opposition BSP objected saying “How can a murder accused be allowed to speak in assembly and that his true place is in jail.” However, speaker Mata Prasad Pandey ruled that since the opposition has demanded debate on the killing of the DSP and also moved adjournment notice, Raja Bhaiyya would be allowed to speak.

“I demand an enquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the killing of the DSP Zia ul Haq, the village pradhan and his brother. I have resigned from the cabinet as I cannot accept the government being maligned because of me or the adversaries of the SP government to get a convenient handle to defame the government.”

Pleading his innocence, the former minister said “I am not scared of going to jail and I favour an inquiry by the Central investigating agency CBI into the incident. As soon as I came to know of the incident I immediately informed the chief minister Akhilesh Yadav. The killing of an honest police officer has deeply saddened me. During my 11-month tenure as minister I met the DSP of Kunda only twice. I knew him as a fine officer with a good image and a sensitive human being,” said Raja Bhaiyya.

Without elaborating, the former minister said that “there were certain forces which did not like me as the minister in the SP government. With my resignation from the cabinet, their nefarious designs have succeeded.”

Questioning the conduct of the district police officer, he said “Why did the police officers and the gunner of the DSP, flee from the scene instead of protecting the officer Zia ul Haq when the villagers attacked him? It was a normal land dispute in the village which snowballed into a big incident leading to the death of the village pradhan, his brother and the police officer.”

Blaming the police for the incident, the former minister said, “The police committed a big mistake in allowing the body of Nanhe Yadav to be taken back to his village from Kunda town. The police should have sent the body to the mortuary for the post mortem.” The villagers resisted the attempts of the police to take the possession of the body which led to the violence and the death of the DSP, he added.

 

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Special Correspondent (Lucknow)

Virendra Nath Bhatt is a post graduate in Economics. Started career as journalist in 1982, by contributing for a couple of Hindi dailies of Lucknow and Bareilly and also Jansatta of Delhi. Joined the English daily `The Pioneer in 1990 and later shifted to National Herald. After one year joined as correspondent for the Onlooker Magazine published from Bombay in 1991. In 1995 again joined The Pioneer in 1995 and worked till 2007. In December joined Indian Express Luck now. In September 2011 joined Tehelka. Bhatt has extensively covered parliament and assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh since 1985 and also the Ramjanma Bhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute in Ayodhya and the movement for social justice – the social strife against the implementation of the Mandal commission report in August 1990.

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