Lucknow, March 4 (IANS) The Akhilesh Yadav government in Uttar Pradesh found itself in a piquant situation Monday as the widow of slain police officer Zia-ul-Haq refused to conduct his funeral unless the "chief minister personally came over to assure justice".
Food and civil supplies minister Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya had earlier resigned after a first information report in the case named him in connection with the murder of the police officer.
Parveen, wife of the deceased and a medical student, said that she would not allow the family to proceed with the 'supurd-e-khakh' (funeral) until a CBI probe is ordered into her husband's killing, which she alleged was the handiwork of a "sharp shooter".
Talking on phone from Juafar in Deoria, she also threatened to consume poison and commit suicide outside the chief minister's residence if her demands were not met.
"I live in Lucknow only. If my demands are not met, I will not hesitate to give up my life for justice for my late husband," she said, recalling that her husband had often shared with her the "stress and pressures" he had to face ever since his posting five months ago to Pratapgarh.
"He would often tell me how the job came with a lot of unwarranted pressure," she said, between sobs. She said her husband feared suspension for work, for not kowtowing to "political bosses."
Referring to her late husband as the "best husband in the world", who "would drop her to college for her studies and never get angry," the student of dentistry accused the legislator from Kunda, Raja Bhaiyya, saying he conspired to kill her husband.
"He is the only king there, the rest are his subjects. He did not like the fact that my husband did not go to his 'durbaar'".
"This is the work of a sharp shooter. My husband was beaten up, dragged some distance and then shot at point blank range," Parveen said, pointing out that Zia-ul-Haq had been hit on the tibia bone to prevent him from running away and then shot in his right side, near the liver.
She also said that her husband would often tell her how the area was very backward and wished he had the power to transform the area, and provide roads, electricity and potable water.
"He never had any animosity with anyone, he had no grudges even against Raja Bhaiyya, but he also did not flatter anyone. I guess that was the problem," she said.
Shams-ul-Haq, 62-year-old father of the slain police officer, refusing to be drawn into the details of the gruesome incident, said he could not fathom how his son's colleagues could have left him to fend for himself when the mob attacked.
Zia-ul-Haq had stood 22nd in the provincial police service (PPS) examination in 2008. When he became a circle officer in 2010, there was much jubilation in the family and the village.
Haq was known as a "sober, kind and judicious official," say officials in the Pratapgarh area.
He had applied for four days' leave on the ill-fated Saturday, and was to proceed on leave Sunday.
Zia-ul-Haq led the policemen who went late Saturday night into the village. The policemen were gheraoed by angry mobs and chased away. The station house officer of Hathganwa, Sarvesh Kumar and senior sub-inspector Vinay Kumar fled the crime scene, leaving Zia-ul-Haq alone to deal with the violent mob. His gunner Mohd Imran too fled, and hid in a nearby field to escape the wrath of the mob.
Haq was beaten up and shot. His body bore three bullet wounds.
Police reinforcements from neighbouring areas arrived only three hours later, to return with the body of Haq.
Three policemen who fled instead of coming to Haq's aid were suspended. Superintendent of Police Anil Rai was transferred.
Five-time independent MLA from Kunda, Raja Bhaiyya, once referred to as "Kunda ka Gunda", who was earlier jail minister in the Akhilesh Yadav government and held the food and civil supplies portfolio, resigned after his name featured in the first information report lodged in connection with Haq's murder.
Raja Bhaiyya had earlier taken part in the cremation of villages headman Nanhe Yadav and his brother Suresh. He has refused to interact with the media, claiming that he would speak on the matter in the state assembly.
(Mohit Dubey can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)