Lucknow, March 4 (IANS) Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiya, former Uttar Pradesh minister and independent legislator from Kunda, Monday pleaded innocence and said he had nothing to do with the "tragic death" of circle officer Zia-ul-Haq.
He said he was ready for any probe, including one by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Raja Bhaiyya had been named in the first information report filed in the murder of the circle officer in mob violence at Pratapgarh village Saturday.
Talking to reporters after attending the state assembly session, a visibly relaxed Raja Bhaiyya said there was no truth in the charges against him and added that the real perpetrators of the Pratapgarh violence and killings would never be apprehended.
"The real culprits will never be caught, because the investigation has been diverted in a different direction," Raja Bhaiyya said.
Saying that he had not been in good health for the past four days and was immensely pained by incidents over the past two days, the independent MLA said he had quit on moral grounds as he never craved for any post or office.
"Holding on to a post was never my idea of politics. I do not want the UP government to be embarrassed because of me," he said, explaining why he quit the Akhilesh Yadav cabinet.
He alleged that there was a "political conspiracy" by some people to see him out of the state government.
Earlier, both houses of the state assembly witnessed uproar over the police officer's killing. Pradeep Mathur, Congress legislature party leader in the state assembly chided the UP government for "jungleraaj and goondaism" and said the state was in the throes of unprecedented lawlessness.
Nirmal Khatri, state president of the Congress, demanded that Raja Bhaiyya be arrested within 15 days and threatened to take out a march from Pratapgarh and stage a sit-in outside the chief minister's residence.
"This is not just a matter of morality, but a criminal offence. It should be taken to a logical conclusion," Khatri said.
BJP spokesman Vijay Pathak said the incident was reflective of a larger malice plaguing the state government.
"The state government was caught between goons and their unruly cadres... this was bound to happen," he said.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Naseemuddin Siddiqui demanded the resignation of the chief minister, holding him personally responsible for the breakdown of the law and order machinery.
Syed Imam Bukhari, the Imam of the Delhi Jama Masjid, condemned the murder while speaking to reporters in Lucknow before leaving for Deoria to attend the "last namaaz" for the slain policeman.
"This is very unfortunate, the way law and order has collapsed in the state is a matter of concern," he said, adding that if things continue in this way, the Samajwadi Party was headed for a rout in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
The Imam had campaigned for the SP in the 2012 state assembly polls.