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India: Police officer suspended, 6 arrested in UP journalist Ratan Singh murder case

Ballia, UP, India: A police officer was suspended in connection with the murder of a journalist working with a Hindi news channel here while six accused have been arrested so far in the case, police said on Tuesday.

On the complaint lodged by the father of journalist Ratan Singh (45) against 10 people, six accused-Sushil Singh, Dinesh Singh, Arvind Singh, Suneel Singh, Vir Bahadur Singh and Vinay Singh have been arrested so far, Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Sanjay Yadav said. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh to the family of the deceased and offered condolences. An official spokesperson in Lucknow said the chief minister has directed officials to ensure strict action against the accused.

Ratan Singh was shot dead on Monday night in Phephana Police Station area. The police station in-charge of Phephna, Shashi Mauli Pandey, has been suspended and efforts are on to nab the remaining accused, the ASP said. The ASP said that the journalist’s father, Vinod Singh, alleged that Sonu Singh of the same village had called his son at around 8 pm and invited him to his house where the accused were waiting with lathis and a revolver and they killed Ratan Singh.

Meanwhile, the Ballia Working Journalist Union has demanded an ex-gratia of Rs 1 crore and a government job for the wife of the deceased. Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar had stated on Monday night that Ratan Singh had a property dispute with his neighbour and after a fight between the two, he was shot at.

“Accused Dinesh Singh is parcener (pattidar) of Ratan Singh. The reason of the fight, which led to murder of the journalist is old enmity and property dispute with the neighbour,” the senior police officer said. He categorically stated that Ratan Singh’s killing had nothing to do with him being a journalist. “Action under the National Security Act and Gangster Act will also be ensured against the accused,” he said.

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