Woman set afire allegedly by Uttar Pradesh police dies

Lucknow, July 7 (IANS) The Akhilesh Yadav government in Uttar Pradesh came in for some fresh attack as a 40-year-old woman who was set on fire allegedly by two policemen in Barabanki district died on Tuesday.

In a statement to a magistrate before her death, the woman accused a police inspector and a sub-inspector of first demanding bribe from her to let go her husband, brought in for questioning in a firing incident, then trying to sexually assault her, and on failing in it setting her on fire.

The woman also said they had sought Rs.1 lakh to let off her husband, who was detained by them on Saturday night for his alleged role in a firing incident.

Her son works for a Hindi daily. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has asked the police top brass to verify the accusations made by the woman and act judiciously.

Inspector General of Police (Lucknow) Zaki Ahmad on Monday ordered a probe into the incident and suspension of the two policemen – inspector Ram Saheb Singh Yadav and sub-inspector Akhilesh Rai.

The woman’s husband who was detained in the Kothi police station in Barabanki said the police implicated him to extort money from him.

He said all that he saw was that his wife went inside the police station to talk to the officials and then she came out running, engulfed in fire.

Last month, a journalist in Shahjahanpur was set on fire allegedly by henchmen of an Uttar Pradesh minister. In his dying declaration Jagendra Singh accused Minister of State for Backward Welfare Ram Moorti Verma of letting loose goons and policemen on him and that they eventually set him ablaze.

While six policemen were suspended by the state government, no action has been taken against the minister.

The journalist’s family has since approached the Supreme Court, which has served notice to the state government. Akhilesh Yadav met the son and the father of journalist Jagendra Singh and gave them Rs.30 lakh and assured government jobs for his two children.

State Bharatiya Janata Party spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak told IANS that the state government had completely failed to safeguard the people of the state.

“Earlier people were being targeted and killed and now the ire of the criminals and lumpen policemen is on journalists,” he said.

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