‘Masterminds’ behind Uma Singh’s killing made public

Janakpurdham, January 29:

The alleged masterminds behind the murder of journalist Uma Singh were made public today by the police, 19 days after her killing.

Dhanusha police made public Uma’s sister-in-law Lalita Devi Singh and Maoist leader Shrawan Yadav amidst a press conference. Along with them, the police also made public Uma’s nephew and Lalita’s son Abhishek Singh.

According to the police, Lalita Devi hatched the conspiracy to kill Uma with the help of Swamiji alias Umesh Gohiwar Yadav of the Tarai Ekata Parishad for Rs 150,000. Yadav had received Rs 25,000 as the first installment. The police said Lalita Devi and Shrawan Yadav motivated Swamiji to kill Uma.

SP Yadav Raj Khanal claimed that Uma’s murder was also linked to the abduction of her father and brother over a family feud for ancestral property. He said a gang under the command of Nemlal Paswan of the Tarai Ekata Parishad murdered Uma. Nemlal was the man who was first nabbed for Uma’s murder.

Khanal also said Lalita Devi, in her statement, said she conspired to kill Uma after knowing that the latter had planned to kill her. Khanal said Abhishek had initially told the police that he had known his mother’s plan and advised her not to execute the plan. But he later changed the statement saying that his gave the first statement due to fear of torture.

CDO Shambhu Koirala claimed probe into the murder was largely successful and no one involved in the case would be spared.

The police have interrogated over 100 persons so far in connection with Uma’s murder. Bimalesh Jha of Janakpur was arrested while he was faxing a press release of the Ekata Parishad. Khanal said the murder was linked to as far as Bihar and a police team was planning to go to Bihar in a bid to chase Swamiji and his gang members.

At the press conference, Lalita Devi claimed that she was not behind the killing and she was ready to face any punishment if her involvement was proved. Shrawan Yadav said he was pulled into the murder case just because he had close relationships with Lalita.