UP scribe's son makes U-turn, says father ended his life

UP scribe's son makes U-turn, says father ended his life

Web journalist Jagendra Singh's family on Saturday said he was “confused” and had ended his own life, two months after he was reportedly burnt to death at the behest of a senior UP minister for writing against the latter on social media.

The scribe's family, which had moved the Supreme Court seeking a CBI probe into the matter, have now said UP minister Rammurti Verma, named by Singh in his dying statement, was innocent.

“My father had been trapped by the minister's detractors. He was coaxed into writing posts against him. We do not want to pursue the matter,” said Singh's son Pushpendra in Shahjahanpur on Saturday.

He claimed his father had been used by some local Samajwadi Party leaders who were Verma's rivals.

“My father found himself in a fix. He was being targeted by the police. The day the cops raided our house, he poured petrol over himself and set himself ablaze to avoid being arrested,” said Pushpendra.

Earlier, a woman friend of Singh's had also told a local court that the scribe had set himself ablaze.

Five policemen, including inspector Sriprakash Rai, who had led the raid at Singh's house, were suspended over the matter.

Sources, meanwhile, said Pushpendra had met Verma in Shahajahnpur a few days ago.

Activists have expressed doubts over Pushpendra's statement, and suspect some kind of pressure on the family.

Suspended IPS officer Amitabh Thakur, who had met Singh's family after the incident, on Saturday wrote to the Chief Justice of India requesting him to direct the state government to create circumstances for Singh's sons and witnesses in the case to come out with the truth.

Thakur said Jagendra's sons had told him their father was murdered at Verma’s behest, but the way the witnesses had been “forced” to change their statements time and again clearly showed “huge pressure and allurement” on them.

He said this pressure prima facie seemed to be coming from Verma, as the circumstances of the case show Verma was using his authority and influence to buy and unduly control the witnesses and evidence in the case.

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