Gangster Prem Prakash Singh alias Munna Bajrangi was shot dead inside Baghpat jail Monday morning, barely a week after his wife Seema Singh addressed a press conference in the Uttar Pradesh capital accusing the Special Task Force (STF) of hatching a conspiracy to murder her husband.
Bajrangi was shifted to Baghpat from Jhansi jail around 9:30 pm Sunday night for an appearance in a local court on Monday in an extortion case on. Initial reports indicate the involvement of Sunil Rathi gang behind the murder. Sources said that Bajrangi was shot at 5:30 am when the prisoners were being served tea.
UP Director General of Police OP Singh confirmed that the gangster was shot dead inside the jail after a brawl with members of a local criminal gang lodged there.
Additional Director General (ADG), Prison, Chandra Prakash suspended four jail officials as the murder left the government and the police department red-faced.
“We are probing how the fire arm was available inside the jail. It is a serious lapse by local jail administration,” Prakash said.
Among those suspended are jailor Uday Pratap Singh, his deputy Shivaji Yadav, head warder Arjinder Singh and warder Madhav Kumar.
Prakash said a team of senior officials has been sent immediately to examine the crime scene and investigate the matter. He said the initial probe suggested that he had brawl with some jail inmates inside the jail after which they opened fire on him. Bajrangi suffered gunshot in his head and succumbed to injuries while being taken to the jail hospital, he said.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath assured an in-depth investigation into the matter.
“We have ordered a judicial inquiry and suspension of the jailor. Such an incident occurring inside jail premises is a serious matter. Will conduct an in-depth investigation and strict action to be taken against those responsible,” Adityanath told ANI.
Bajrangi’s lawyer V Srivastava said they had warned the government about the danger to his life.
“He was brought to District Jail Baghpat from Jhansi, last night. At 6:30am today, a convict lodged in the jail shot him dead and hid the pistol in a gutter. Few days ago, we had made UP CM aware of threat to Munna Bajrangi’s life,” Srivastava said.
The don was accused in multiple cases of murder, attempt to murder and extortion. He was the key accused in the sensational murder of BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai, who along with his seven supporters was killed during an attack on his motorcade in Ghazipur district of eastren Uttar Pradesh on November 29, 2005.
On June 29, Bajrangi’s wife Seema Singh held a press conference in Lucknow where she said that she apprehended a threat to her husband’s life inside the jail
She said Bajrangi alleged that senior police officials of UP STF were hatching conspiracy to murder her husband and had even accused the authorities of trying to kill him in jail with the help of other inmates.
The STF had refuted Seema’s allegations of a murder conspiracy and insisted that it was a ploy to shore up sympathy for the gangster.
Senior police officials said Bajrangi, who had been in jail since his arrest from Mumbai in January 2009, allegedly operated an extortion racket with help of his aides while remaining behind bars.