Thursday, November 7, 2013

BSP MP in the dock: Before help\'s death, fights in school and many murder cases

His domestic help\'s murder is not the first such charge Dhananjay Singh has faced. The BSP MP, arrested with his wife Jagriti after their help was found dead in their Delhi home, is a history sheeter with cases in a number of police stations in Lucknow and Jaunpur, including many of murder.

Since he became an MP, however, his supporters have been striving for an image makeover. Ashok Singh, his man on the ground, sits on the verandah of a white bungalow in a narrow lane in Jaunpur city. He dials journalists requesting them to travel to a village for a \"training camp for the disabled\" financed by ONGC and with the MP\'s local area development fund. Dhananjay has also got over Rs 30 lakh released from the PMO for three children suffering from a speech and hearing impairment.

\"He has been working hard to shed the Bahubali tag,\" says Ashok Singh. \"Saansadji has faced problems earlier and, as always, he will come out stronger.\"

The problems had begun at school. Son of a bank employee then based in Kolkata, Dhananjay fought with his teachers and had to move to his ancestral home in Uttar Pradesh. During his class XII exams, he was jailed for a communal clash. At Sikrara police station alone, history sheet number 12 A lists 11 cases against him in 1998.

Among the murders he is accused in is that of a physical trainer at Lucknow\'s La Martiniere College in 1997. Following the murder of a PWD engineer in Lucknow, a reward of Rs 50,000 was announced on his head. \"Police then claimed to have killed him in an encounter, but it was someone else,\" says his father, Rajdeo Singh. When UP director general (health) Dr Bachchi Lal was shot dead in 2001, Dhananjay was arrested after the alleged contract killer identified him as the conspirator, but was later acquitted. In 2011, he was arrested over the murders of a contractor and a tea stall owner, and later got bail.
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