The Munna Bajrangi murder has thrown up many unpleasant questions for the jail and government authorities in Uttar Pradesh. An inmate, Sunil Rathi allegedly shot dead Bajrangi inside the Baghpat jail premises on Monday. The big question being raised is how the firearm reached him inside the jail. Also, since his wife Seema Singh had said only a few days ago that she feared there would be an attempt on Bajrangi’s life, it is being asked why no measure was taken to ensure his security.
And the fact that the murder weapon is missing puts yet another big question mark on the security scenario inside the jail. Police had Rathi had been taken into custody, but the weapon used in the crime had not been found yet.
A team of officials are investigating the incident, and experts were collecting evidence from the murder spot till last reports came in.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has suspended the jailor, his deputy, the head warden and the warden, and ordered magisterial, departmental and judicial inquiries into the case.
Bajrangi was brought to Baghpat jail from Jhansi only on Sunday night as he was to be produced in a local court on Monday morning for hearing in an extortion case registered against him.
ADG (Crime) Chandra Prakash confirmed that more than one bullet was fired and that the murder weapon had not been recovered yet. According to him, Bajrangi was shot dead after a scuffle with Rathi outside the cell where they were kept.
The police are waiting for the postmortem report, which they said would shed light on the kind of weapon used, the number of bullets fired and whether he was sleeping at the time of the murder or put up any resistance.
Sunil Rathi is a notorious leader of a criminal gang that mainly operates in Western UP, Delhi and Uttarakhand. He had murdered his father Viresh Rathi in 2003 who was the chairman of Tikri nagar panchayat, and faces charges of murdering over 20 people.
On June 29, Bajrangi’s wife Seema Singh had expressed concerns over his safety and said she feared a conspiracy was being hatched to kill him.
On Monday, Bajrangi’s brother-in-law and lawyer Vikas Srivastava alleged involvement of police officials in the conspiracy and demanded a fair inquiry.
Srivastava had accompanied Bajrangi in the ambulance that brought him to Baghpat jail from Jhansi on Sunday night. He said Bajrangi was not well and was undergoing treatment under supervision of doctors at AIIMS. In view of his illness, his hearings in different cases of Banaras and Delhi were done through video conferencing, and he had requested for a similar arrangement for the Baghpat case too. “But officials were adamant on taking him to Baghpat,” said Srivastava, adding that the DIG (Jails) camped for two days in Jhansi to ensure Bajrangi was sent to Baghpat.
He also claimed that Bajrangi was falsely implicated in the case of demanding extortion money from former BSP MLA Lokesh Dixit and claimed that the MLA didn’t even mention the name of Bajrangi in his complaint to the police. He also ridiculed the police theory of murder and said shooters had been called from outside to execute the murder.
Meanwhile, Lokesh Dixit has demanded security after Bajrangi’s murder. He said CM Yogi should provide him security cover because he feared Bajrangi’s supporters and gang members might target him now.