Former Uttar Pradesh minister arrested over policeman’s killing (Lead)

June 10th, 2008 - 4:07 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bahujan Samaj Party

Lucknow, June 10 (IANS) Former Uttar Pradesh minister Jamuna Nishad was arrested here Tuesday, three days after he allegedly led a mob attack that killed a policeman and led to his ouster from the government. Nishad was taken into custody from the Hazratganj locality here and charged with a variety of offences including murder.

A legislator from Pipraich in Gorakhpur district, Nishad is accused of leading a mob on the Maharajganj police station Saturday night when one of his supporters shot dead constable Krishnanand Rai.

The slain man had come out to see what the commotion was all about when he was hit by a bullet and collapsed. He died in a hospital. Maharajganj is located in eastern Uttar Pradesh.

The next day, Chief Minister Mayawati asked Nishad, a colleague from her Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), to resign from the ministry.

“The arrest is the result of police investigations. Twelve people from Maharajganj and adjoining towns have already been arrested,” Director General of Police Vikram Singh told reporters.

The mob led by Nishad staged a nosiy protest at the police station after the police converted a rape charge into one of molestation. The Dalit girl was a member of the Nishad community, who are mostly fishermen.

The police acted thus after a medical examination failed to confirm rape. But a medical board set up by the chief minister submitted a report Monday night confirming the girl indeed was raped.

Vikram Singh, however, said that since the residence of the Maharajganj superintendent of police and the police station had a common entrance, the minister may have gone to meet the officer. At that time, someone from the mob could have fired at the constable.

Vikram Singh also said that since the medical board had confirmed rape, the investigating officer of the case, Sub Inspector Munni Ram, had been suspended.

He said the police had sought “strict action” against the doctor who ruled that there was no rape.

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