Dhirendra Pratap Singh, the main fugitive accused in the Ballia murder case, was arrested by the Special Task Force (STF) in Lucknow on Sunday morning, police said.
Dhirendra, carrying a ransom of Rs 50,000 on his head, was arrested near Janeshwar Mishra Park in Gomti Nagar area.
Two other indictees, Santosh Yadav and Amarjeet Yadav, were also arrested on Sunday.
On Thursday, a 46-year-old man was killed in a firefight over a dispute at a ration-sharing meeting in the village of Durjanpur in the Reoti area of Ballia district.
The crime took place in the presence of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) and the District Officer of the area.
Prime Minister Yogi Adityanath had become aware of the shooting in Ballia and instructed SDM, CO and police personnel present in the country to be suspended immediately and stricter measures taken against the accused.
He said the role of the officers would be investigated and, if found guilty, would be prosecuted.
Jai Prakash, 46, was allegedly shot by Dhirendra Pratap Singh when the ration-sharing meeting was canceled by the SDM due to a dispute between members of self-help groups.
Police Superintendent Devendra Nath said a FIR was registered against 15-20 people on the complaint of the victim Chandrama’s brother.
Earlier, Dhirendra Pratap Singh had claimed in a video clip that he did not open fire as claimed by his rivals and police and claimed that he fled after the fire in the village as he feared for his life.
Even as he accused district civilian and police officers of unilateral action against him, police had announced a ransom of Rs 50,000 in Dhirendra.
A close associate of Dhirendra had also filed a petition in a lower court on his behalf for his surrender on Saturday, after which police increased security around the district court complex.
In the video clip, allegedly recorded on Saturday, Dhirendra claimed he was “innocent”. He said he had warned officials of abuses in the distribution of fair-priced shops and the threat of violence, but they did not heed.
He further claimed that when he started firing on the spot, he was standing in front of Magistrate Sub-Division (SDM) Suresh Chandra Pal and District Police Officer Chand Prakash Singh.
He claimed police officers caught him while his family members were destroyed amid indiscriminate shootings by his rivals.
Surendra Singh, BJP MLA from the Bairia Assembly segment in Ballia, on Saturday accused civilian officials and police of initiating unilateral action and also claimed that Prime Minister Yogi Adityanath was “misinformed” about the whole matter.
Bairia MLA went to the district hospital on Saturday to meet the injured family members of Dhirendra, and then broke up in front of the media.
The MLA said, “Even the medical examination of the injured family members of Dhirendra has not been done even though they are admitted to the hospital after suffering injuries in the attack by rivals. they are taking unilateral action. “
In a related development, a group of ex-military has come out in support of Dhirendra under the auspices of Purva-Sainik (ex-military) Sangathan to seek an FIR against its rivals led by Durjanpur village mayor Krishna Yadav.
Sangathan head of state Ramesh Singh said other rivals Yadav and Dhirendra had started the war and opened fire in a planned manner but administration officials only targeted Dhirendra, who is also a former military man.
They threatened to raid the police station and intensify their unrest if an FIR were not to appear against Dhirendra rivals.
(With IANS entries)
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