Uttar Pradesh [India] minister in charge of dairy development, Ram Murti Verma, has been charged with murder after a Shahjahanpur-based journalist, who had mounted on social media a relentless campaign against him, died of burn injuries late Monday evening.

Jagendra Singh, his family alleged on Tuesday, was set on fire by a bunch of cops and goons sent by Verma on June 1, at his house. The scribe had been struggling for life for the past week at a hospital in Lucknow.

Police have now filed an FIR against the minister and 4 others, including the Kotwali station in-charge, under Sections 302 (murder), 504 (insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.

Singh had written extensively about the plight of an Aganwadi worker who had told a court recently that she had been gang-raped by the minister and some of his henchmen. In his dying declaration, cops said, the journalist blamed Verma for ordering the attack and narrated how a similar attempt had been made on his life on April 28.

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