The inclusion of Raja Bhaiya into the newly formed Uttar Pradesh cabinet has already got critics raising eyebrows at the credibility of the Akhilesh Singh led state government. After all, the man accused in 8 criminal cases, for reasons ranging from murder to abduction, has several stories attached to him. While a few of them may qualify as mere stories, a good many are strong facts with police records to testify the truth. Let us now take a sneak peek into Raja Bhaiya’s notorious past.
Feeding his enemies to crocodiles
This piece about Raja Bhaiya’s notorious past reminds us of Hindi movies from the eighties where villains would meet their victims in private dens before handing out the final verdict. Raghuraj Singh alias raja Bhaiya is believed to have owned a “Durbar” which he used to meet and punish people from within his gang. If stories are to be believed, the person even owned a pond filled with crocodiles. Local people who dared oppose the feudal regime were fed to the hungry beasts.
1999: The First Charge
The alumnus of Lucknow University had his first brush with politics in the year 1993, when he contested the state elections as an independent candidate. Raja Bhaiya’s rise to power is a saga fraught with controversies. And his initial days in politics are not an exception either. While papers declared his age as 26, according to several reports the notorious minister was probably underage at the time of the polls. Raja came out in full force for the Indian general elections of 1999. He was alleged of putting up Akshay Pratap Singh against Ratna Singh, the incumbent.
2002: FIR for allegedly kidnapping and threatening
In the year 2002, Puran Singh Bundela, a BJP MLA, lodged an FIR against Raja Bhaiya, accusing him of kidnapping. The complaint led to the arrest of Raja in the early hours of 2nd November, 2002. Soon after, he was declared a terrorist by the Mayawati-led state government in Uttar Pradesh. Along with father Uday Pratap Singh and Cousin Akshay Pratap, Raja was sent to jail under the POTA act. Although Akshay managed a bail, Raja alias Raghuraj wasn’t as lucky. His bail pleas were met with rejections several times.
2004: Slapped with POTA charge
In a strange turn of events, all charges against Raghuraj were dropped within minutes of Mulayam Singh Yadav coming to power as chief minister in the year 2003. Raja Bhaiya’s misery was, however, far from over. The Supreme Court instructed the State Government not to dismiss the POTA charges against Raghuraj. The act was finally repealed a year later in 2004.
For Raghuraj, though, the nightmare continued as the court refused to release him. With time, however, the legal clutch loosened and Raghuraj was not only released but also came to occupy a powerful position in the Government. It was around this time that R.S Pandey, a police officer who led the raid to Raghuraj’s house, came out with a fresh series of allegations against the latter. Strangely, Pandey got killed in a road accident soon after- a case which remains under investigation by the CBI till date. In 2005, Raghuraj was appointed as minister for food and civil supplies.
Although, Raja Bhaiya, by now, had several criminal cases pending against him, he was given Z-category security by the state government. Funnily enough, the threats against Raja, especially those which prompted the state government to offer him high security, were never specified.
2007: Booked in arms licence case
After the POTA incident of 2004, Rahuraj’s shadowy activities once again faced the legal ere in 2007 over an illegal arms license case. The minister in the former Samajwadi Party Government was said to have provided a false affidavit for procuring arms license. By the time the FIR was lodged, Raghuraj had already managed to secure three arms licenses using his Lucknow address while completely suppressing his Pratapgarh whereabouts. In the affidavit, the accused had reportedly denied involvement in criminal cases. It was also stated that Raghuraj had no cases filed against him.
However, his decision to be economical with the truth had Raghuraj paying dearly. It was soon discovered that Raja Bhaiya had not one but forty-one cases pending against him!
2010: Arrested for assaulting BSP men and using weapons against them
In 2010, Raja Bhaiya was thrust in the eye of storm yet again by the Mayawati government over an attempt to murder case. Raghuraj, along with two legislators, were arrested for plotting the murder of a local BSP candidate. Manoj Shukla lodged an FIR against thirteen people including key Samajwadi Party members accusing them of warning him with dire consequences if he didn’t withdraw from the local block Pramukh polls. Eleven of those accused were taken into police custody immediately. An angry Mulayam singh Yadav issued open threats to the SSP and DM, saying that the two will have to suffer after the case is lodged.