Raja Bhaiyya: India minister quits over murder charge

Raja Bhaiyya (right) with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav (left) Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya says he is innocent

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A minister in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh has resigned after allegations that he was involved in the murder of a senior police officer.

Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya is accused of "conspiracy and murder", police said.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Ziaul Haque was shot dead on Saturday evening in Pratapgarh district. His widow has lodged a police complaint.

Mr Singh was not present at the crime scene and says he is innocent.

Two of his close aides have been arrested in connection with the murder.

"I could have easily got him transferred, instead of getting him murdered," Mr Singh was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India.

He said he had resigned because he had "no intention of causing embarrassment to the government".

Mr Singh was the food and civil supplies minister in the state government. He has several criminal cases pending against him and has served time in jail too.

Mr Haque was killed when he had gone to a village to investigate the murder of the village head in connection with a land dispute.

Reports said Mr Haque's body was dragged through the village by his killers.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has said that "just and impartial action" will be taken against those found guilty of the crime.

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