File photo of gangster Munna Bajrangi (Express Photo by Vishal Srivastav)
TEN DAYS ago, Seema Singh, wife of slain gangster Prem Prakash Singh, alias Munna Bajrangi (51), had said at a press conference that she feared her husband would be murdered. She had sought for special security arrangements in and around Jhansi district jail, where Bajrangi was then lodged. An application was also moved in a Varanasi court over a threat to his life. Hours after the gangster was shot dead in Baghpat Jail on Monday, Seema Singh demanded a CBI probe.
Seema had unsuccessfully contested the 2017 Assembly elections as an Independent from Madiyahun constituency in Jaunpur. Five years before, Bajrangi had unsuccessfully contested the Assembly polls from the same seat on an Apna Dal ticket.
A native of Poore Dayal village in Jaunpur, the gangster had dropped out of school after studying till Class V, and is believed to have developed an affinity for arms when he was a teenager, according to a PTI report.
Records say the first case against Bajrangi was one of assault, lodged in 1982. The same year, he was booked for attempt to murder and loot. “There were 24 criminal cases against Bajrangi, including those in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and other states,” said DIG (Law and Order) Praveen Kumar.
“According to prison records, 10 cases — including three of murder lodged in Varanasi, Jaunpur, Baghpat and Delhi – are pending against Munna. On Sunday, a police team took Munna to Baghpat for appearance in one of the cases,” Superintendent of Jhansi district jail, Rajeev Shukla, said.
The pending cases against Bajrangi include that of the murders of former block head of Rampur Kailash Dubey and his two associates Raj Kumar Singh and Banke Lal Tiwari in a congested market in Jamalapur on January 24, 1996. Sophisticated weapons, including an AK rifle, were used in these murders. During investigation, police had concluded that the murders were a fallout of political rivalry.
On September 9, 1998, Bajrangi, then on the run, was severely injured in alleged cross-firing with a UP Special Task Force (STF) team in Delhi.
In 2004, Bajrangi was released on bail, and jumped bail. While on the run, he allegedly played a key role in the daylight shootout that in Bhanwarkol area of Ghazipur district on November 29, 2005, in which then BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai, along with six others including his police gunner, were sprayed with bullets using A-K series rifles. Controversial BSP MLA Mukhtar Ansari was named as the key conspirator behind the shootout.
Police sources said after Rai’s murder, Bajrangi had developed differences with Ansari as well.
The gangster, who once carried a Rs 2 lakh bounty on his head, was arrested in Mumbai in October 2009 by a team of the Delhi Police Special Cell.