An IPS (Indian Police Service) officer in Uttar Pradesh is to be charged for murder 24 hours after a businessman who had accused him of threats and extortion died at a hospital in Kanpur.
The officer – Manilal Patidar – is the former police chief of the state’s mining-rich Mahoba district. The businessman, who was found with a bullet to the neck in his car on a highway near Mahoba town, died in critical care.
Mr Patidar, who was suspended by the UP government last week on charges of corruption, was first charged with extortion on orders from Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Based on a complaint from the dead businessman’s family, he was later charged for attempt to murder and conspiracy.
The officer has not been arrested, so far, in either case.
The police have not yet questioned either him or the other cops whose names figure in the FIR, with a senior police official today claiming the Superintendent of Police (SP) was “unavailable” and police teams were out looking for him.
“… since the businessman has died, from an attempt to murder case it will now become a murder case. We will bring them for questioning as it is a very serious issue, (but) because he (the SP) is not available we have sent a team to look for him and others named in the FIR. We will question them,” Prem Prakash, Additional Director General (Prayagraj Zone), told the media.
It is not yet clear who shot the businessman, identified as Indrakant Tripathi, or how he ended up with a bullet to his neck inside his Audi on the highway.
In the days before his death Mr Tripathi, who deals in explosives for mining, issued a video statement on social media accusing the Mr Patidar of corruption, threats and intimidation, and said that if he were to die in any manner the officer should be blamed.
This video went viral on social media last week.
“We want that Patidar should be arrested. He is an influential person. He and his people can harm our family,” Mr Tripathi’s brother told media in Kanpur.