Lucknow, Jun 11: Opposition parties today slammed the SP government in Uttar Pradesh for not acting against its minister Ram Murti Verma who was booked in the murder case of a journalist, and demanded his arrest.
"An FIR has been lodged and the minister has been named in it. Then why is there delay in his arrest and expulsion from the ministry," BJP spokesperson Vijay Bahadur Pathak said. [UP: Journalist burnt alive over Facebook post against SP MLA, case filed]
Levelling charges against the Uttar Pradesh Police, Pathak alleged that in the last three years, police has failed on the law and order front.
"We demand the minister should be arrested and expelled immediately and law should take it own course," he said. Congress has also demanded an explanation from the state government on the issue.
"The manner in which the charges of murder conspiracy have come to fore, the government should give a clarification," Congress spokesman Virendra Madan said.
He said Verma should be expelled immediately so that police could take action without any pressure. Indian Federation of Working Journalists (IFWJ) strongly condemned the murder of the journalist, Jagendra Singh.
In a statement, IFWJ's Secretary General Parmanand Pandey demanded the Akhilesh Yadav government to immediately sack Verma on whose behest some police officials allegedly burnt Jagendra Singh sprinkling petrol on him.
He also demanded the arrest of the minister and the guilty police officials before they could tamper with the evidences in the murder of the journalist, demanding monetary assistance for the family.
The state government had yesterday handed over the probe to Deputy Inspector General (DIG), Bareilly range in the alleged killing of the scribe in Shahjahanpur district by minister Verma and five others over a Facebook post.
"The probe into alleged killing of journalist Jagendra Singh by minister and five others in Shahjahanpur has been handed to DIG, Bareilly range," IG, Law and Order, A Satish Ganesh had told reporters here.
An FIR was registered against Minister for Backward Classes Welfare Ram Murti Verma, Inspector (Chowk) Sri Prakash Rai, Gufran, Akash Gupta, Amit Pratap Singh and Bhure for killing Jagendra by setting him on fire.