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Opinion

The wife of the scribe in the UP who died of burns threatens to immolate herself and demands the arrest of the murderers

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The wife of a local Hindi journalist, Rakesh Singh (45), in Balrampur who died in a mysterious fire on Friday, threatened to blow herself up in front of the district judge’s office if the alleged killers were not arrested on Tuesday.

The Uttar Pradesh police have yet to reach any conclusions on the case.

Vibha Singh, the journalist’s wife, had alleged criminal conspiracy behind the incident and said her husband and his friend Pintu Sahu, 36, were burned to death by a muscular local. The journalist and his friend had been killed when a mysterious fire broke out in their village house below the Kotwali Dehat police area in Balrampur district on Friday night. Sahu died on the spot while Singh succumbed to his injuries in a Lucknow hospital after suffering 90% burns.

The deceased’s wife, along with her two daughters, relatives and local neighbors staged a protest and refused to incinerate the body on Sunday until her husband’s alleged killers were arrested. He gave the police and district administration 48 hours after which he said he would immolate himself. He eventually agreed to have the body cremated after a guarantee from the local MLA Paltu Ram.

A local police official said that the journalist’s father, Munna Singh, had previously filed a complaint against 4-5 unidentified people for allegedly setting his son and friend on fire after locking them inside the house. “Seconds before his death, the journalist had said that he had been a target while working on a big news story. However, he did not mention any person behind the incident, “he added.

The official said that the police had questioned five people about the matter, but had not reached any conclusions so far.

Balrampur (SP) Police Superintendent Dev Ranjan Verma did not respond to calls. Earlier on Saturday, he had told the media that the door to the house was found locked from the outside, which has raised suspicions. He said that three suspects from the same village, including former pradhan Ram Surat, Ravi Chauhan and Babu Mishra, were detained for questioning.

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