M A I N   N E W S

Murder of Constable
Mayawati sacks minister

Lucknow/Gorakhpur, June 8
Uttar Pradesh fisheries minister Jamuna Nishad was today sacked by Chief Minister Mayawati hours after he was charged with murder of a police constable during a violent clash involving his supporters in Maharajganj district.

Mayawati also ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident but ruled out the arrest of the tainted minister until the probe is completed.

Nishad was dropped after he submitted his resignation to Mayawati who summoned him to her official residence in Lucknow after he was booked and named in an FIR in connection with the killing of the constable during alleged firing by his supporters at Kotwali police station in Maharajganj last night.

She forwarded the resignation letter to Governor T.V. Rajeshwar for acceptance and announced financial assistance of Rs 24 lakh and a job for the family of constable Krishnand Rai besides Rs 5 lakh in fixed deposit for each of his two daughters.

The FIR named Nishad and 50 unnamed supporters under Section 302 (murder) and other relevant charges under the IPC and the Arms Act.

“I have directed the officers to ensure strict action against conspirators of yesterday’s incident and killers of the constable”, Mayawati told reporters.

The incident happened when angry supporters of the minister tried to ransack the Kotwali police station demanding action against the SHO for “shielding” an accused in the alleged rape of a girl of the Nishad Dalit community.

It is not clear how the constable was shot, with the police alleging that a beacon-fitted VIP car stopped by and someone inside fired at them while eyewitnesses claimed that a service weapon was snatched during the scuffle between the villagers and the police.

Nishad denied being present during the violence at the police station and that the shot was fired from his car. He told reporters that his vehicle was parked 300 metres away from the police station.

“We are not criminals and we cannot do such a thing. The police must have opened fire on the villagers and a bullet accidentally hit their own personnel in the dark. This is the truth,” he claimed.

Asked about the possibility of arrest of the minister, Mayawati said since an inquiry had been instituted into the matter it would not be advisable to do anything in haste before the completion of the probe.

“I have directed the officials to ensure strict action against the killers of the constable. If the guilty is from our party (BSP) or holds an important post, it will not come in the way of the investigation,” she said.

Briefing reporters about the incident, Mayawati said the girl belonging to the Nishad community had lodged an FIR at the police station on June 5 claiming she was raped. After a medical inquiry, the case of rape was converted to Section 354 of the IPC that dealt with molestation leading to unrest among the villagers, she said.

The Chief Minister said she could recommend a CBI probe into the incident but as the agency had earlier refused to accept a number of cases forwarded she did not hand over the case to the central agency. — PTI



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