The role of Uttar Pradesh Police has come under immense scrutiny after gangster Munna Bajrangi was shot dead inside Baghpat prison on Monday morning by another inmate.
Bajrangi, who was accused of killing 40 people including a BJP MLA, Krishnanand Rai, in 2005, was scheduled to be brought before a court in Baghpat on Monday morning. Only a week ago, his wife had publicly expressed her fear that Bajrangi may be killed in a fake encounter. The family had even moved the Supreme Court against the UP government’s decision to shift him from Jahnsi jail.
On 29 June, while speaking to ANI, his wife Seema Singh had said, “I want to tell UP CM Adityanath ji that my husband’s life is in danger. A conspiracy is being hatched to kill him in a fake encounter.”
#WATCH Seema Singh, wife of Gangster Munna Bajrangi, says, “I want to tell UP CM Adityanath ji that my husband’s life is in danger. A conspiracy is being hatched to kill him in a fake encounter.” (29.06.18) pic.twitter.com/o2uCuePKJe
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) July 9, 2018
In a chilling coincidence, the gangster was killed just days after he was finally moved out of Jhansi jail. As expected, the UP Police is facing widespread condemnation for its dubious role in the murder of Bajrangi. Monday’s development also prompted many to ask if the jails were safe in Uttar Pradesh under Yogi Adityanath government. Adityanath told news agency ANI, “Ordered a judicial inquiry&suspension of the jailor. Such an incident occurring inside jail premises is a serious matter. Will conduct an in-depth investigation&strict action to be taken against those responsible.”
Samajwadi Party’s Pankhuri Pathak wrote, “Who did not know #MunnaBajrangi would be murdered. It was all pre-planned. His wife & lawyer had done a press conference & exposed the murder conspiracy. Why kill a convicted criminal who you know would spend his life behind bars? Does yogi govt have no respect for the law?” Journalist Sukesh Ranjan asked, “Notorious gangster Munna Bajrangi shot dead in Bhagpat jail. His being very notorious is known 2 all @myogiadityanath but how can somebody be shot dead in a JAIL?”
The state government has suspended the jailer and his deputy in Baghpat jail. In 2012, while in Tihar Jail, Bajrangi had also contested the assembly elections on a ticket from Apna Dal, which is now an ally of the BJP both in the state and Centre.
In May last year, the Supreme Court had intervened, directing the UP government to transfer Bajrangi, whose real name was Prem Prakash Singh, back to Jhansi jail.