Five policemen were suspended on Saturday in connection with the alleged killing of journalist Jagendra Singh in Uttar Pradesh’s Shahjahanpur.
Singh was allegedly set afire by a UP minister and five others on June 1. He died while being treated at a hospital on June 8.
"SP Shahjahanpur has suspended five policemen, including Station House Officer Shri Prakash Rai, with immediate effect," IG (Law and Order) A Satish Ganesh said.
An FIR has been registered against minister for backward classes welfare Ram Murti Verma, inspector (Chowk) Sri Prakash Rai, Gufran, Akash Gupta, Amit Pratap Singh and Bhure in the case.
A public interest litigation was earlier on Saturday in the Allahabad high court seeking directions for a CBI probe into Singh’s death.
Uttar Pradesh police said on Friday the probe against Verma was on and he may be called in for question after enough evidence is collected.
According to the family members of the victim, Singh used a social networking site to post against the minister, alleging his involvement in illegal mining and land grab. The police officers set Singh on fire during a raid at his house on June 1, alleged.
Before his death on June 8, Singh had accused Verma of "unleashing" a reign of terror on him and his family for his investigative reports and comments.
Shahjahanpur police have launched a hunt for an anganwadi worker who is the main eyewitness in Singh's death. The woman was present when a police team, led by local SHO Sriprakash Rai, raided his house in Awas Vikas Colony on June 1.
After Jagendra was allegedly set on fire by the cops, the woman told the press that cops had forcibly entered the house, caught hold of him and set him afire by pouring petrol on him. After Jagendra succumbed to burn injuries on June 8, she went underground.
On Saturday, the police pasted a notice on the door of her house, requesting her statement be recorded with the investigation officer. IG (Law and Order), A Satish Ganesh, said, "The woman is an independent eyewitness. Her statement will be crucial in the investigation."
Raghvendra, son of the dead journalist, said, "Police have not provided her security. She was threatened by the minister's associates and went underground, fearing for her life. The police must locate her as she is an important eyewitness."
Read: UP minister, 9 others booked for fatal attack on journo