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Affair angle in UP minister stepdown
- Murder allegation over ‘missing’ lover

Lucknow, Nov. 6: An Uttar Pradesh minister with several cases against him has landed in fresh trouble amid accusations that he masterminded the kidnap and alleged murder of a woman believed to have been romantically involved with him.

Thirty-one-year-old Anantsen Yadav, a BSP legislator from Faizabad, resigned this afternoon after chief minister Mayavati told him to put in his papers.

The minister, who has at least eight cases against him including murder, claimed it was a “conspiracy” by the opposition Samajwadi Party.

“I have nothing to do with this. I was the one who had a case registered and told the superintendent of police that it be properly investigated. I will cooperate fully with any investigation,” Anantsen, married with a child, said.

The controversy — similar to the one that sent former state minister Amarmani Tripathi to life in jail for murdering his pregnant lover — broke last month after a Dalit leader claimed Anantsen had kidnapped and killed his daughter Shashi.

Yogendra Kumar alleged that his 24-year-old daughter, a final-year law student, left home for college on October 22 but never returned.

Kumar, who is also part of the ruling BSP, then lodged a missing diary, which Faizabad police later converted into an FIR following allegations that one Vijaysen Yadav, a relative and driver of the minister, had abducted Shashi.

“I suspect the involvement of the minister, his driver and a woman…. I am afraid she (Shashi) may have been killed by now,” Kumar said.

In a letter to Mayavati and the state police chief, Kumar also alleged that the police had “refused” to name the minister in the FIR.

Police sources said Vijaysen was arrested on October 31 but released after nothing was found against him.

Vijaysen, however, surrendered in a Faizabad court the next morning in connection with an old case and told the police that Shashi may have been murdered. A fresh FIR was then registered.

“We are still searching for the girl and interrogating Vijaysen,” senior superintendent B.B. Tripathi said.

Later this evening, the state government ordered a CBI investigation.

Kumar, believed to have been friendly with Anantsen, said the minister was a frequent visitor to his house and had helped his daughter get admitted to hospital when she had hepatitis last December.

The food processing minister, whose MP father Mitrasen Yadav is being probed in a human trafficking case, also visited Shashi at the hospital several times, Kumar added. “He even promised jobs for my sons and took away Shashi’s original mark sheet with the same promise.”

But Kumar said a girl called Seema started calling up and threatening his daughter.

Shashi, he said, was heard saying “my father has a lot of influence”.

“I found the minister’s and his driver’s numbers scribbled in her diary,” Kumar added.

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