Journalist killed after exposing village corruption in UP; three arrested, used sanitiser to burn house

Three people were arrested in Uttar Pradesh’s Balram district on Monday in connection with the murder of a 35-year-old journalist and his friend.

According to police sources, the three accused, Lalit Mishra, Keshvanand Mishra and Akram Ali, have confessed to killing journalist Rakesh Singh and his friend Mithlesh Sahu. This came in the wake of Singh’s exposure about corruption that was happening under the village head, who is Keshvanand Mishra’s mother.

The accused had allegedly gone over to the victim’s house, made them drink alcohol, before killing the two. The accused then used alcohol-based hand sanitiser to burn down Singh’s house to make it look like an accident. Akram Ali alias Abdul Qadir, who is an expert in executing incidents like these, was their accomplice in this horrific crime.

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The journalist’s wife and his two daughters were at a relative’s house during the incident. Both Singh and Sahu sustained serious burn injuries. While Sahu died on the spot, Singh later succumbed in the hospital with suffered 90% burn injuries.

Singh had earlier accused the village head, Sushila Devi, of corruption in the installation of solar panels and the construction of roads and sewage.

The Balrampur district administration gave a cheque of Rs 5 lakh to the wife of the journalist and the management of Balrampur Chini Mills has also assured that they will provide employment to his wife and free education for his daughters.

Singh worked for a local newspaper. Investigation in the case is going on and the arrested have been sent to jail.

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