Lucknow: Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Bareilly range, has been entrusted with heading the probe into the killing of a journalist here in connection with which Uttar Pradesh minister Ram Murti Verma and five others have been booked.
"The probe into the killing of journalist Jagendra Singh allegedly by the minister and five others in Shahjahanpur has been handed over to DIG, Bareilly range," IG Law and Order A Satish Ganesh said.
Verma was booked yesterday along with five others in connection with the case.
The DIG will head a team of Shahjahanpur Circle officer, city Krishna Gopal Yadav and Inspector Sadar Bazar JP Tiwari, he said, adding that another team of forensic experts has also been sent from Lucknow to assist them.
"The statement given by the journalist (before his death) at district hospital to magistrate will also be made available to the police after the permission of court," he said.
Besides Backward Classes Welfare minister, Inspector (Chowk) Sri Prakash Rai, Gufran, Akash Gupta, Amit Pratap Singh and Bhure were also named in the FIR for killing Jagendra by setting him on fire.
The FIR was registered at Puwayan police station of Shahjahanpur by victim's son Raghvendra after his father died during treatment at a hospital here on Jun 8.
According to family members of the victim, Jagendra used the social networking site to post against the minister alleging his involvement in illegal mining and land grabbing.
During a raid at the journalist's house at Awas Vikas Colony in Sadar Bazar, Shahjahanpur on June 1, his family alleged that police officials set him on fire after which he was admitted to a hospital in Lucknow.
FIR has been lodged under IPC 302 (murder), 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation). Before his death, Jagendra had accused Verma of "unleashing" a reign of terror on him and his family for his investigative reports and comments against Verma.
The journalist alleged that he sustained burn injuries during raid by Inspector Sri Prakash Rai at his house. He told Inspector General (Civil Defence) Amitabh Thakur three days ago at the civil hospital here that he was first attacked on April 28 near his house by the minister's henchmen but no action was taken in the case.
"He told me he was hounded for exposing Verma's alleged involvement in illegal mining and forced occupation of land," Thakur had said.