Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh's notorious Raja Bhaiya was forced to step down as a minister following a complaint that he conspired to murder a police officer after a complaint was filed by the police officer's widow. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, who is about to complete a year in office and is being criticised for failing to curb lawlessness in the state, met the murdered police officer's family and promised a CBI probe. But the big question is whether Raja Bhaiya will be arrested.
After the widow filed a complaint that Raja Bhaiya had conspired to kill her husband Deputy SP Zia-ul-Haq and made her protest public, the Chief Minister forced Raja Bhaiya to resign. But the DSP's killing evoked anger in Deoria. The state DGP was heckled by angry relatives.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, under fire for failing to handle multiple instances of vandalism, kidnapping by his own ministers, has promised justice. "Action will be taken. Anybody who is accused no matter how big the person is he will be sent to jail. A CBI probe will be ordered," Akhilesh told reporters after his visit that was marked by shouting of anti-government slogans. Two persons including Raja Bhaiya's supporter Guddu Singh have already been held after four FIRs were filed in the case.
Under fire for protecting the powerful, the Uttar Pradesh police also suspended three officers and promised arrest if there is evidence to nail Raja Bhaiya. The UP police is denying any political pressure to go slow on the former minister. Speaking to IBN18 Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai, Additional Director General of Police in the state Arun Kumar said, "We registered the case against Raja Bhaiya, even registration of our case against a sitting minister of the cabinet, I don't think it's a very small step and we took that step."
When asked whether Raja Bhaiya will now be arrested, Arun Kumar said, "The charge against him that has been registered is criminal conspiracy and you prove the criminal conspiracy only when you find evidence, you find the real criminal and then you try to find out the links with the other people."
Meanwhile, the Samajwadi Party also said it is not shielding former minister Raja Bhaiya. Rajya Sabha MP Ram Gopal Yadav said Raja Bhaiya would not have been booked in the case had the party been trying to save him.
But the big questions remain:
- Why were the two arrests made 24 hours after the widow of murdered police officer registered a complaint?
- If Guddu Singh is believed to be a close aide, driver of Raja Bhaiya why hasn't UP Police questioned the Kunda strongman?
- Was Guddu Singh carrying the licenced revolver of Raja Bhaiya at the time of the crime?
- Why has the police not recovered the murder weapon so far?
- Will this case meet the similar fate as other cases that involved ministers in the past?
- Will Raja Bhaiya be arrested?
(With additional information from PTI)