On Friday, when the family of Narendra Kumar Singh, the slain 31-year-old IPS officer, was performing his last rites in Mathura, a political drama was being played out 475 km away in Bhopal, capital of the state he served.
Previous day, when almost the entire state administration, including chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, was celebrating Holi, Narendra was mowed down by a tractor-trolley allegedly being driven by a member of the mining mafia.
Chauhan, refusing to get into action initially, ordered a judicial probe into Singh’s death only the next day, prodded reportedly by strong political reactions. What’s more, Chambal Range police chief DP Gupta told reporters in Gwalior: "Till now, we do not have any evidence to indicate that the killing of Narendra Kumar Singh was a planned act."
A group of Congress workers, led by party MLA Arif Aqueel, was stopped from marching up to Chauhan’s residence in Bhopal, but they burnt an effigy of the chief minister and demanded his resignation.
In New Delhi, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said, "There is ample evidence to prove that the chief minister's family is involved in illegal mining. We have got proof that a number of people, including BJP MLAs, MPs and influential people, are involved in mining activity in open connivance with the BJP leadership."
In Guna, Union minister of state for commerce and industries, Jyotiraditya Scindia, said the state government should hand over the probe into the murder to the CBI.
"If the state government feels any difficulty in getting to the bottom of the incident, then it should recommend a CBI probe and we would help out the government in this regard," he said.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari also joined the chorus from New Delhi: "Without state patronage, the criminal elements would not have mustered up the gumption to murder an IPS officer."; Narendra Kumar came to Banmore as sub-divisional officer of police a month ago.
On Thursday, he went to Rancholi village in Morena district on a tip-off about illegal mining. Around 1pm, he spotted a trolley loaded with stones and asked the driver to stop.; But as the driver ignored him, Narendra chased the vehicle in his jeep, cut in and after getting down from his jeep stood in front of the vehicle. But the tractor driver, Manoj Gurjar, drove on and knocked down Narendra, who was crushed under the wheels.; Meanwhile, the state police rubbished Singh's father, Aligarh police sub-inspector Keshav Deo Singh's claim that his son's killing was a "well-planned conspiracy". He said, "He (Narendra) stopped vehicles carrying stones for checking. Is it the work of an IPS officer, or the work of a low-level policeman?"
(With inputs from agencies)
Tractor crushes IPS officer to death in MP | CM involved in MP illegal mining: Digvijaya Singh | Father says murder a controversy