A man pronounced dead by Indian police in 1998 is to stand as a candidate in the country’s parliamentary elections later this month. According to police, Dhananjay Singh was shot dead in a shoot-out with specialist marksmen in 1998, when he was wanted in connection with “dacoity”, an Indian term for organised crime. He was carrying a £600 bounty on his head when he was cornered along with three other alleged criminals in Uttar Pradesh, and shot dead, police said. up to 35 police officers from Sant Ravidas Nagar police station claimed that they were involved in the operation, and many of them were later honoured for their bravery.
But over a decade after Mr Singh was officially declared dead, police have issued a warrant for the arrest of the 35 police officers on charges of killing an innocent man.
Phool Chand Yadav, a local politician, told police that the man the officers shot in October, 1998 was in fact his nephew Om Prakash.
“I told police that the person they had declared Dhananjay Singh was my innocent nephew. But they refused to accept it,” said Mr Yadav.
His claim was confirmed when Dhananjay Singh himself walked into a court in Jaunpur and surrendered to officials.
Police said the officers claimed their victim was Mr Singh to win the cash reward.
Mr Singh is now campaigning in Jaunpur constituency, where he is the candidate for the Bahujan Samaj Party, which represents the state’s “untouchable” caste.
By Dean Nelson in New Delhi, The Telegraph UK, 01 Apr 2009