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India

Key Accused In UP Politician’s Murder On Run Since 2005 Arrested: Cops

The police said, the Samajwadi Party leader Shiv Sagar Singh was killed in a bomb attack on his SUV in 2005. The accused fled Uttar Pradesh and changed his look and name.

The investigation is underway. (Representational)

Noida: A key accused in the sensational killing of a Samajwadi Party leader in Uttar Pradesh’s Kaushambi has been arrested after being on the run for nearly two decades, police officials said on Sunday. Accused Girish Mishra kept changing his location from Bihar to Maharashtra before settling in Madhya Pradesh’s Sehore, from where he was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police’s Special Task Force (STF) on July 15, the officials said.

“After killing Shiv Sagar Singh, who was a leader of the Samajwadi Party, in 2005 in a bomb attack on his SUV, Mishra had fled UP. He had changed his name and look in order to evade recognition as the UP Police had announced a reward of ₹ 1 lakh on his arrest,” Deputy Superintendent of Police (Prayagraj STF) Navendu Kumar told PTI.

“Mishra, who had just last month started a new business plan in Sehore under his changed identity, had never been to Kaushambi since February 27, 2005, when an FIR was lodged against him over the sensational murder,” Mr Kumar said.

Girish’s father Sialal Mishra was shot dead by Shiv Sagar Singh’s men in 1994 after which he had resolved to avenge the killing at the tender age of 15, the officer said. While an FIR was lodged over the killing of Sialal Mishra in 1999, Girish had killed Singh’s personal gunner and a cousin, both of who were accused of shooting his father in chest that led to his death.

“Girish was soon arrested and sent to jail. During his stay in jail, he learnt that his elder brother and a cousin were killed in a road crash while they on their way to Allahabad for a hearing in his father’s murder case,” Mr Kumar said.

“This enraged Girish to no ends. He got bail in 2005 and was released from jail after, which he once again started targeting Shiv Sagar Singh, whose political influence had only increased during the period,” the DSP said.

“On February 27, 2005, Shiv Sagar Singh was returning from a private function with his aides in his car. They were at a railway crossing in Sirathu, Kaushambi, when Girish and his cousin Rudra Prasad Mishra attacked them with rifles and bombs,” the police officer said.

The attack was fatal and Singh died of injuries, triggering strong political reactions in Uttar Pradesh, after which Girish and Rudra fled the state, he added. Rudra is still at large, the officer said, adding efforts are on to arrest him. On the genesis of the case, he said the Mishra and Singh families were on good terms with each other as both were wealthy and popular in the area.

Girish’s father Sialal was the headmaster of a school, owned farmlands and also practised Ayurveda in the 1980s, which made him a fairly known and respected person among locals. On the other hand, Singh was a regional strongman and son of Arjun Singh, a renowned elite of the area.

“Early in the 1990s, the two families got together and started a junior high school in Kaushambi. However, a dispute soon emerged between the two families over sharing of income from the school,” the police officer said.

“The dispute reached to an extent that one day in 1994, when Sialal was at his fields, the Singh family members reached there and a heated argument broke out between them,” he said.

When abusive words were hurled at him, Sialal, in a fit of rage, dared the other side, “Gaali mat do, chaahe to goli maar do (Don’t hurl abuses, shoot me instead).” On this, Singh’s gunner Ram Lochan opened fire at Sialal. Soon three more bullets were pumped into his body. This alarmed Girish, who was near a tubewell at the farms and came running to check on his father.

Sialal was taken to Allahabad for treatment but he succumbed to his injuries midway, prompting Girish to resolve that he would avenge his father’s murder. “This eventually led to five more killings from both sides, and ultimately, Girish has landed in jail once again,” DSP Kumar said.

After his arrest on Friday, the STF took him on transit remand and brought him to Kaushambi, where further legal proceedings were carried out at the local police station, the officer added.

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