Three more persons have been arrested in connection with the murder of journalist Ratan Singh here, a senior police official said on Sunday.
Six people were arrested earlier in the case on August 25, police said.
“A joint team of police, Special Operations Group (SOG) and surveillance on Saturday arrested Uday Narayan Singh, Anil Singh and Tejbahadur Singh,” Superintendent of Police Devendra Nath said on Sunday.
The three were carrying a reward of ₹25,000 each on information leading to their arrest, the SP said.
A stick and two axes used in the crime have been recovered, he said.
The SP said a local court had issued a non-bailable warrant against the three accused.
Ratan Singh (45), who worked with a Hindi news channel, was shot dead on August 24 night in the Phephana police station area of the district.
A day later, a police officer was suspended while six people were arrested in connection with the murder.
Ballia’s Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Sanjay Yadav had earlier said that on the complaint of the journalist’s father, six people— Sushil Singh, Dinesh Singh, Arvind Singh, Suneel Singh, Vir Bahadur Singh and Vinay Singh— have been arrested. He added that Phephana police station in-charge Shashi Mauli Pandey was suspended.
He said the complaint was lodged against 10 people.
According to the ASP, the journalist’s father, Vinod Singh, alleged that Sonu Singh of their village had called his son to his house around 8 pm where the accused were waiting with lathis and a revolver and they killed him.
Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar had stated on August 24 night that Ratan Singh had a property dispute with his neighbour and after a fight between the two, he was shot dead.
Accused Dinesh Singh is the parcener (pattidar) of Ratan Singh. An old enmity and a property dispute with the neighbour led to the journalist’s murder, a senior police official had said.
He said Ratan Singh’s killing had nothing to do with his being a journalist.
The incident drew flak from the Opposition, which alleged “poor” law and order and accused the state government of failing to curb crime.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced an ex gratia of ₹10 lakh to the family of the deceased and offered condolences.