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Lucknow: Constable shoots convict’s son at hospital’s gate

LUCKNOW: A 28-year-old constable deployed in the security ring of a murder convict, convalescing at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, whipped out a countrymade pistol and shot the convict’s son from point-blank range at the hospital gate on Wednesday evening.
The deceased, Praveen Singh, 34, slumped to the ground in a pool of blood after the bullet ripped through his skull, sending ripples in the hospital premises at Vibhuti Khand. His father, Dhruv Singh, who’s undergoing treatment for prostate cancer at the hospital, was sentenced to life on April 16 in a 1997 murder case at Misrikh, Sitapur. A search is on for the weapon.
Killer cop claims threat to life, says murder weapon missing
Even as eyewitnesses and police confirmed there was no immediate provocation or verbal spat that triggered the shooting, the unruffled cop, Ashish Mishra, swiftly changed his uniform, strolled into the nearby Vibhuti Khand police station and surrendered. He was deployed at the convict’s security ring on May 25.
During interrogation, Mishra appeared unrepentant and claimed he shot Praveen to protect himself as the convict’s son would often hurl taunts and even threaten to kill him.
Commissioner of Lucknow police, D K Thakur, who rushed to the crime scene, said the constable’s statement was unconvincing and he appeared to be mentally unsound.
“Mishra, a resident of Badaun, was recruited in 2016 and has been posted at Sitapur police lines since 2017. We sought a feedback on the cop’s family background, finances and whether he had a history of mental illness with violent bouts. We also asked Sitapur SP to provide details of the convict, Dhruv Singh’s family.”
On Wednesday evening, four policemen, including a head constable were deployed at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, for the convict’s security.
“While two constables had rifles on them, Mishra who was on duty did not carry his service weapon. Rather he committed the crime with a countrymade pistol, which he said has gone missing. Mishra claimed he tossed it in the drain after the shooting. A search is on for the weapon,” said, ADCP, east zone, Qasim Abidi.
Talking to TOI, Sitapur SP Rakesh Pratap Singh said, “We questioned Mishra’s sister whether he ever displayed suicidal tendencies or had any other psychiatric illness. She said, he was of sound mind. We also spoke to his friends, colleagues and batchmates and they all concurred he was disciplined, sharp, never an alcoholic and had a good attendance record.”

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