The Uttar Pradesh police on Friday claimed to have cracked the murder case of Lucknow Chief Medical Officer (family welfare) Dr B P Singh, who was gunned down outside his residence in Lucknow's posh Indira Nagar, while stepping out for his routine morning walk on April 2.
Three persons, who have been accused of killing the CMO, were arrested from the city outskirts on Friday.
State Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh pointedly blamed Singh's junior Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Y S Sachan as the mastermind behind the murder.
"Sustained investigation and electronic surveillance carried out by the Special Task Force has established the role of Dr Sachan in hatching the conspiracy to murder Dr Singh, who had apparently become a stumbling block in the large scale pilferage of funds," Singh said.
The trio who have been arrested have confessed to committing the murder at the behest of Dr Sachan, who is already behind bars on the basis of prima facie evidence, the state cabinet secretary said.
The police is likely to seek remand of Dr Sachan who would now be interrogated to extract more information regarding the murder. He will also be quizzed on the modus operandi devised by him and others to pilfer funds under the National Rural Health Mission.
Uttar Pradesh receives an annual funding of about Rs 3,500 crore under the NRHM.
The three arrested persons have been identified as Ram Krishna Verma, Anand Tiwari and Vinod Tiwari. The cabinet secretary confirmed Tiwari's criminal past, but said that the other two apparently did not have any criminal history. "Perhaps it was the absence of their criminal past that caused delay in their arrest", said state police chief Karamveer Singh.
Besides one I-10 Hyundai car, Special Task Force sleuths have recovered two motor-cycles, two pistols and some cartridges from their possession.
Confessions made by the three arrested persons also indicate the possibility of their involvement in the murder of Dr Singh's predecessor Dr Vinod Arya, who was killed in exactly similar circumstances in October 2010.
Arya too was on his morning walk when masked motor-cyclists shot him down from point blank range, which killed him on the spot.
Earlier, Chief Minister Mayawati had accepted the resignation of her two cabinet ministers Anant Kumar Misra holding the health portfolio and Babu Singh Kushwaha, the minister for family welfare, cooperatives and mining, who took 'moral responsibility' for the murder.