Balrampur (Uttar Pradesh), Dec 1 : Three persons have been arrested in connection with the murder of a 35-year-old journalist and his friend, who died in a fire in his house. The accused had used alcohol-based sanitizer to burn the house so that the murder could look like an accident.
Superintendent of Police (SP), Balrampur, Dev Ranjan Verma said that the arrested persons were Lalit Mishra, Keshvanand Mishra and Akram Ali.
They were arrested on Monday from a jungle near Bahadurpur crossing.
The trio have confessed to their crime, he added.
The SP said that Keshvanand’s mother was a village head and Rakesh Singh had exposed corruption in her working.
The accused held a grudge against the victim over it.
“They went to his house on the pretext of some talks. They made Rakesh Singh and his friend consume alcohol and later set the house on fire,” the SP said.
“To burn the house using the chemical, Lalit Mishra and Keshvanand Mishra took the help of Akram Ali a.k.a Abdul Qadir, who is an expert in executing incidents like these,” the police officer said.
Rakesh Singh, 35, who was working for a local newspaper, and his friend Pintu Sahu, 32, had suffered serious burns in the fire at the house in Kalwari village on Saturday.
Sahu died on the spot and Rakesh Singh, with 90 per cent burns, was referred to a Lucknow hospital where he died during treatment.
According to the police, Rakesh Singh’s wife and children had gone to a relative’s house two days before the incident.
In the intervening night of Friday/Saturday, there was an explosion in the house after which one of the walls collapsed and one of the rooms caught fire, police said.
The Balrampur district administration has given a compensation of Rs five lakh to the wife of the journalist. The cheque was handed over to the family of the victim by legislator Palturam.
Meanwhile, the management of Balrampur Sugar Mills has assured the district administration that they will provide employment to Vibha Singh, wife of the victim.
The administration has also promised free education for the daughters of the victim.
Earlier, the wife of the journalist had threatened to set herself on fire if the police failed to arrest the accused. Police said the arrested accused have been sent to jail.