9 July 2018|
Baghpat jail, Uttar Pradesh
|Cause of death||Shot 10 times in the head inside jail by another inmate.|
|Other names||Prem Prakash Singh|
|Occupation||Politician, contract killer, gangster|
|Criminal charge||Murder, attempt to murder and extortion|
Munna Bajrangi (Prem Prakash Singh) was an Indian politician, a known contract killer and a gang leader from eastern Uttar Pradesh. He was shot dead at the District Jail in Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh on July 9, 2018. He was shot ten times in the head within the jail premises by another prisoner, gangster Sunil Rathi. His death came a week after his wife, Seema Singh, said in a press conference that he would be targeted.
In the two decades that he was active, over 40 murders have been connected to him. He is credited with introducing the use of AK-47s (Kalashnikov) in mafia wars in Uttar Pradesh. He first used it in killing a 'block officer' and four accomplices in 1996 on orders from his guide Mukhtar Ansari.
Since 2009, he was in jail for the gangland murder of MLA Krishnanand Rai in 2005 and another BJP leader Ramchandra Singh. For many years, he supported the Samajwadi Party headed by Mulayam Singh Yadav, but the gang switched to Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party in mid-2000s. He fought elections while imprisoned in Tihar jail under Apna Dal and Peace Party of India in 2012 as trial proceedings were going on.
Munna Bajrangi was initially a carpet weaver. After a few independent killings, the first at the age of 17, he joined a gang in Uttar Pradesh led by Gajraj Singh. In an atmosphere where the moves of criminals becoming politicians was pioneered by gangsters like Hari Shankar Tiwari, Raja Bhaiyya, D P Yadav and others, Bajrangi started his criminal career as a member of criminal-politician Mukhtar Ansari's gang. In the early 1990s, under the governance of Mulayam Singh Yadav's Samajwadi Party, criminals were flourishing in UP. In 1996, Mukhtar was elected from Mau, and the gang, with its arsenal of AK 56and other weapons, became a household name in the districts of Mau, Ghazipur, Varanasi and Jaunpur. The gangs made a living by garnering government contracts with political help.
They soon came into conflict with Brijesh Singh, another established ganglord who worked together with politician Krishnanand Rai of the Bharatiya Janata Party. In 2001, Brijesh Singh's gang ambushed the Mukhtar Ansari gang on the Mau-Lucknow highway; three people died from each mafia gang.
In the 2002 elections, Mukhtar's brother Afzal Ansari, who had won from Mohammadabad in five earlier elections, was defeated by Krishnanand Rai, a rival politician supported by the Bharatiya Janata Party.
On the afternoon of November 2005, Rai was travelling with six aides when they were attacked by seven gangsters in a Tata Sumo. Bajrangi along with associates Firdaus, were Ata-ur-Rahman alias Babu, and Aijazul Haque were identified by some survivors. CBI later identified Vishwas Nepali, Sanjeev Maheshwari, Rakesh Pandey and Ramu Mallah as the other members of the attacking team. Over 400 bullets were fired from six AK-47 rifles, killing Rai and all others travelling in two Qualises. 67 bullets were recovered from seven bodies. A police officer called it the largest "display of firepower" in an Uttar Pradesh mafia battle. Since then, Bajrangi was on the police's most wanted list.
In 2009, after announcing a cash reward of Rs.700,000, Bajrangi was arrested against from the Shanty Siddivinayak Residential Society in Mumbai's Malad area. He had been living in the apartment under his real name, Prem Prakash Singh, along with his wife and three teenaged children since 2003.
In 2012, while imprisoned in Tihar jail with the trial proceeding ongoing, Bajrangi fought in the Uttar Pradesh Legislative elections 2012 from Mariyahu as a joint candidate of the Apna Dal and the Peace Party. He came in third, polling 12% behind winner Shraddha Yadav of Samajwadi Party.
Late in the evening at around 9:30 pm, on Sunday 8 July 2018, Munna Bajrangi was shifted from Jhansi jail to Baghpat jail, as he was to be produced in court for an extortion case on Monday 9 July 2018. In the early hours of Monday, 9 July 2018, at around 5:30 am he was shot in the head inside the jail premises by an inmate, another gangster, Sunil Rathi. Sunil Rathi alleged that he shot and killed Munna Bajrangi since the latter made comments over his appearance, calling him 'chubby'.
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