Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh police on Tuesday arrested six men accused of murdering Ratan Singh, a journalist with a Hindi television news channel late on Monday night in the Fafna area of UP’s Ballia district.
Awanish Kumar Awasthi, Additional Chief Secretary (Home), told News18 that six people, including the main accused Arvind Singh, Dinesh Singh and Sunil Singh, have been arrested in the case. While the police have claimed Singh was killed over an ongoing land dispute, his family accused the police of building a false narrative.
“There was no land issue of any kind that led to the murder of my son. You can come along to the spot and see it for yourself. The police are making up a false narrative and it is in-charge of Fefna police police station who is the main culprit. He went to the spot in his vehicle and then fled away. The local police officials here have misinformed senior officials about the incident. There was no reason for the dispute of fodder being kept at the farm, the incident took place merely 20 steps away from the police post,” Singh’s father said.
Ratan Singh was shot by criminals near his house on Monday night. He was rushed to a hospital where doctors declared him dead. “There was a quarrel between locals and journalist Ratan Singh, during which he was shot at. The police started investigating the case by taking the body in its possession,” said Devendra Nath, Superintendent of Police (SP).
The Ballia Working Journalists Union has expressed anger over the incident.
DIG (Azamgarh Range) Subhash Chandra Dubey said that while the deceased was a journalist, his murder had nothing to do with his profession. “This incident took place due to a land dispute between two parties. The accused have been arrested,” he said.
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has announced an ex gratia of Rs 10 lakh for Singh’s family and offered his condolences, Awasthi said.
Reacting to the incident, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra took aim at Yogi Adityanath, saying the law and order situation in UP has gone from bad to worse. “This is the crime meter of only two days in UP. The UP government repeatedly covers the incidents of crime, but crime is chanting on the streets of the state,” she said in a tweet on Tuesday morning.