An Indian politician reportedly has been arrested and charged with murder after a journalist covering his alleged corruption was burned alive.
Jagendra Singh was set on fire by police and men sent to his house by Uttar Pradesh dairy development minister Ram Murti Verma on June 1, Singh’s family claimed Tuesday, according to the Times of India.
"They had a heated argument with my father, caught hold of him, poured petrol over his body and set him on fire," Raghvendra Singh told the newspaper. Singh died from his injuries on Monday and authorities have now filed charges against Verma and four other men.
But police have denied any wrongdoing and claim that Singh tried to commit suicide.
“There was a case against Jagendra Singh. We tried to arrest him but he committed suicide,” a Shahjehanpur police spokesperson told IBN Live, without specifying the allegations.
Singh, a resident of the town of Shahjehanpur in northern India, ran an online newspaper and posted stories on Facebook, including several about the plight of a worker who told a court she had been gang-raped by the politician and some of his henchmen, the Times of India reports.
Singh also reported that Verma tried to kill him on April 28 and accused him of illegally acquiring land for mining, according to The Independent.
Verma is blaming “political rivals” for Singh’s death and "orchestrating the incident and planting the case" against him, the Times of India reports.