In yet another embarrassment for the state government, an audio clip has surfaced on the social media in which Ballia murder accused Dhirendra Pratap Singh is purportedly heard issuing threats to a UP Police inspector for failing to adhere to his demands.
Meanwhile, Singh also released a video message, pleading his innocence in the murder case and claiming that he did not fire any shot during the stampede.
In the audio clip that has gone viral on the internet, Dhirendra Pratap Singh asks the police inspector about the status report in his case. After the police officer tells him to talk to the SDM (sub-divisional magistrate) about the report, Singh threatens him with dire consequences, saying the inspector does not know who he is dealing with.
Hours after the audio clip went viral, Dhirendra Pratap Singh released a video message pleading innocent in the murder case and claiming that he did not fire any shot or attacked anyone during the recent incident in Ballia.
It should be noted that the police have arrested five accused in the case so far but the main accused — Dhirendra Pratap Singh — is still on the run.
Interestingly, on Friday, a Bharatiya Janata Party MLA in Ballia had openly defended the prime accused and even accused the police of conducting a biased probe.
“Dhirendra Pratap Singh opened fire in self-defence or else dozens of his family and associates would have been killed,” Bairia MLA Surendra Singh had said, adding, “He (Singh) had no other option. It was a do-or-die situation for him.”
Earlier, two people including the brother of Dhirendra Pratap Singh were arrested when a fracas broke out at a meeting attended by administration and police officials in Ballia district.
Five others were detained but till Saturday evening, the main accused was yet to be arrested.
Some close lieutenants of Singh, however, claimed that he was already in police custody but the cops had not shown his arrest.
Meanwhile in Gonda, seven people, including a Mahant, were arrested on Saturday in connection with the attempt on the life of a priest of the Ram Janaki temple in the Itiyathok Kotwali area.
Superintendent of Police Shailesh Kumar Pandey said that with the intention of taking benefit in the panchayat elections and for trying to implicate opposition in a property dispute, the priest at the Ram Janaki temple had been shot at.
He said that Mahant Sitaram Das had got the rounds fired on the temple’s priest, Samrat Das, to defame the former gram pradhan of the village, in cahoots with pradhan Vinay Das on the night of October 10.
The SP said that accused Mahant Sitaram Das had got a report filed against four people, including former pradhan Amar, Mukesh and Bhay Karan Singh.
He said during the probe into the case and after questioning the locals, the police team arrested seven people, including the mahant, Neeraj Munna, Sonu, Vidit, Shivshankar Singh and Vinay Singh.
Three country-made pistols and a mobile phone were recovered from the possession of the accused. Search is on for another accused, Sooraj.
Pandey said that the injured priest was undergoing treatment at Lucknow’s KGMU Trauma Centre under police supervision.