Another BJP ‘Prince’ strikes? Why Ballia BJP is speaking against victim girl’s family
The brutal murder of Ragini Dubey, a class 12 student, on Ballia’s Bansdih Road on August 8 has left the people of Uttar Pradesh shocked. However despite its tall claims on tackling crime, the Bharatiya Janata Party government has been virtually silent on the issue as the accused is the son of well-connected gram pradhan.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who was scheduled to visit Ballia on August 11 so far has not uttered a word of sympathy for the bereaved family or condemned the incident.
His predecessor Akhilesh Yadav said that the reality of crime situation was not hidden from anyone.
Samajwadi Party’s Alok Pradhan alleged that the police were being pressurised not to pursue the case.
Ragini’s case was overshadowed by the stalking of Varnika Kundu by Vikas Barala, son of Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala, even though its shock value and the police’s role in the murder was believed to be much the same as in the Chandigarh case.
Ragini, whose throat was slit after being stabbed several times by Prince alias Aditya Tiwari, had approached the police for protection almost six month back fearing the worst. Tiwari happens to be the son of gram pradhan Kripa Shankar Tiwari.
The response of Ballia’s first woman SP Sujata Singh to a query on why protection was not provided to the 17-year-old girl was that the family did not expect the matter to turn ugly. She also said that the girl and the boy, who were neighbours, were friends and that Prince did not want her to talk to other boys. “He killed her in a fit of rage,” she told Catch.
She also denied that the police were protecting the accused. Two of them have been arrested and the remaining three, including Kripa Shankar, would be arrested soon.
Although it was alleged that Kripa Shankar had links in the BJP, the SP denied the allegation.
Ragini’s family denied that she was in love with Prince. “Yes, being neighbours they did speak to one another but she was not in love,” the family is reported to have told the police. He used to tease her on her way to school, Ragini’s father told the media. He had even raised the issue with Kripa Shankar who assured him that his son won’t tease Ragini again.
By bringing in the love angle the police, he said, were defaming Ragini to protect the accused.
Kripa Shankar, Aditya and other family members are now absconding but the SP said that a manhunt was on. The family claimed that while in the hiding the accused were threatening to eliminate the entire family. The family was now confined to their home fearing a bloody vendetta. “The sentence for murder is death so we will kill the witnesses if the family does not drop the case,” the family was warned.
The police had not yet put the number from which the threatening calls were made on surveillance. “That’s because the family has not given us any numbers. On our own we are tracking the call records of the accused, the victim and the ‘other boy’, Sujata Singh said.
The BJP seems to be siding with the accused. The local BJP legislator Anand Swarup Shukla flatly denied that the family was being threatened. Even as a TV channel showed Ragini’s family members, including a small boy, voicing their fears, Shukla insisted that he was not told any such thing by the family. He claimed he was with the family barely “ten minutes ago”.
On August 8 when Ragini, a resident of Bajaha village was cycling her way to school she was stopped by three men including Prince, who began teasing her. When she objected she was pushed to the ground and stabbed several times.
A case under Sections 302, 354, 348 and 345 was subsequently lodged against all the accused.