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Gangster Munna Bajrangi never felt safe in Baghpat jail and stayed in isolated cell, claims cop

In a press conference in Lucknow on June 29, Bajrangi’s wife Seema Singh had apprehended a life threat to him and accused STF officials of hatching a conspiracy to kill him.

india Updated: Jul 10, 2018 09:25 IST
Rohit K Singh
Rohit K Singh
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
munna bajrangi,gangster munna bajrangi shot dead,baghpat jail
Police personnel at the Baghpat District Jail, where gangster Munna Bajrangi was shot dead, allegedly by an inmate of the jail, on Monday, July 9, 2018. (PTI)

Prem Prakash Singh alias Munna Bajrangi, a gangster in Uttar Pradesh, made it a point to stay inside a jail since May last year but little did he know he would be killed within the “safe” confines of a prison.

Bajrangi, who spent time in different jails in the state after his arrest in October 2009 for the murder of a Bharatiya Janata Party legislator, feared for his life outside the prison and sensed he could be killed if he lived elsewhere.

The gangster was shot dead inside a jail in Baghpat on Monday morning, barely a week after his wife Seema Singh addressed a press conference in the Uttar Pradesh capital accusing the special task force (STF) of hatching a conspiracy to murder her husband.

“Bajrangi last travelled for an appearance at a Delhi court from Sultanpur jail on May 11, 2017. Ever since he never moved out of jail for court appearances and attended court hearings through video conferencing,” a senior police officer, who did not wish to be named, said.

He stayed for a night in the city’s jail before being taken to Delhi then. It was for the first time since then that he was brought to Baghpat from a jail in Jhansi around 9:30pm on Sunday. He was to appear in a local court on Monday in an extortion case.

The officer quoted above said Bajrangi never felt safe in Baghpat jail and used to stay in an isolated cell along with his confidant Vicky Sunehra lodged in the same prison. He was with Sunehra in cell number one on Sunday night, he added.

He said another prisoner Sunil Rathi, who was in the isolated cell number 10, opened fire indiscriminately at Bajrangi when inmates came out of their cells to have tea at around 6.20 am.

Bajrangi’s wife had said during the press conference that Bajrangi was living in fear inside the jail and was not ready to step out even under police protection.

She said her husband was being treated by a board of doctors from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), which had suggested him not to travel. She accused STF officials of mounting pressure on him to travel long distances for court appearances.

The STF refuted Singh’s allegations of a murder conspiracy and insisted that it was a ploy to shore up sympathy for the gangster.

Senior police officials said Bajrangi allegedly operated an extortion racket with help of his aides while remaining behind bars.

The gangster was accused in multiple cases of murder, attempt to murder and extortion. He was the key accused in the sensational murder of BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai, who along with his seven supporters, was killed during an attack on his motorcade in Ghazipur district of eastern Uttar Pradesh on November 29, 2005.

Multiple attacks

Bajrangi’s gang was on the target of rivals for the past two years.

His wife’s brother Pushpjeet Singh and his friend Sanjay Mishra were killed in a sensational shootout in Vikas Nagar area of the state capital on March 5, 2016. He was shot by two men in a motorcycle after intercepting his car.

Pushpjeet used to look after the financial matter of the Bajrangi gang and acted as a legal advisor in pursuing pending criminal cases against him. Pushpjeet’s killing hit the gang financially.

Bajrangi’s another close aide Tariq was shot on a flyover near Dayal Paradise crossing in Lucknow’s Gomti Nagar on December 2, 2017. Tariq, who was a Varanasi-based contractor, was looked after the gang’s finances after Pushpjeet’s murder.

First Published: Jul 10, 2018 08:16 IST