An Uttar Pradesh businessman who had accused Indian Police Service officer Manilal Patidar – currently suspended – of extortion has died of gunshot injury in a Kanpur hospital. He was found with a bullet wound in his neck in his Audi car on a highway near the state’s Mahoba town earlier this month and had been battling for life in a critical care unit.
Indrakant Tripathi, a prominent businessman involved in mining in Mahoba – 230 km from capital Lucknow – had earlier this month issued a video statement on social media, accusing the 2014-batch IPS officer Manilal Patidar of corruption, threats and intimidation.
The businessman, who dealt in mining explosives, had said that if he were to die in any manner, the officer should be blamed. The video had gone viral on social media.
Mr Patidar, the former police chief of Mahoba, a mining hub in the Bundelkhand region of the state, was suspended over charges of corruption on the direction of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, less than 24 hours after the businessman was hospitalised. A case of attempt to murder and extortion was registered against him and two other policemen based on a complaint from the businessman’s family.
It is not clear as of now who shot the businessman or how he ended up with a bullet inside his car.
The officer has not been arrested yet.
“We want that Patidar should be arrested. He is an influential person. He and his people can harm our family,” Mr Tripathi’s brother told media in Kanpur on Sunday.
Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav has slammed the UP government over the incident.
“The murder of Indrakant Tripathi, who had revealed corruption in the Uttar Pradesh government, has proved that the government’s ‘thoko’ (shoot) policy, police’s fake encounters and false cases against opposition leaders have sent the state into abyss,” he tweeted in Hindi.