Chhattisgarh minister TS Singh Deo’s relative Veerbhadra Pratap Singh (42), a Janpad panchayat representative, was found dead near railway tracks in Bilaspur district on Friday with police suspecting he might have fallen off accidentally from the Durg-Ambikapur Express train in which he was travelling. The body of Singh (42), vice-president of the Lundra Janpad Panchayat in Surguja district, was found near tracks between Salka and Belgahna railway stations under the Kota police station area in the morning, police said.
Singh alias Sachin Baba, a relative of state’s Health Minister TS Singh Deo, belonged to the Dhaulpur unit of the erstwhile Surguja royal family. The body was spotted by railway personnel who then informed the police, said Parul Mathur, Bilaspur Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP).
After identifying the body, his family members were informed and a forensic team was sent to the spot for investigation, she said. He was travelling to Ambikapur from Raipur by Durg-Ambikapur Express on Thursday night and prima facie it seems he fell accidentally from the moving train and died of injuries, Mathur said, adding further investigation was underway.
The body was handed over to his relatives after postmortem, she added. Meanwhile, the opposition BJP claimed Singh’s death occurred under suspicious circumstances and demanded a judicial probe into the incident.
Sachin (as he was known), who was a close relative of minister Singh Deo, was arrested last year in connection with the alleged attack on the convoy of Congress MLA Brihaspat Singh (in July 2021). In the present circumstances it does not seem to be a normal incident and it could also be a political murder, senior BJP MLA Ajay Chandrakar said.He demanded that Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel get the incident probed by a sitting judge of the High Court.
After the alleged attack on his convoy, Brihaspat Singh had claimed he had received a threat to his life from Singh Deo. The minister had walked out of the state Assembly (during last year’s monsoon session) disputing the (Congress) MLA’s claims. In such a situation, the matter requires a high-level inquiry, Chandrakar said.