An undertrial charged with murdering a sugar mill official in Meerut in April has sought court protection as he fears a threat to his life from a Uttar Pradesh minister.
Gangster Udham Singh, who operated in Meerut and Baghpat districts and carried a cash reward of Rs 50,000 on his head, has also accused the Bahujan Samaj Party minister of framing him in false cases.
Singh told the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Renu Rao that he feared for his life from the minister and sought its protection.
He was brought to the CJM's court from the district jail under tight police escort.
Singh, against whom over 50 cases are pending including the killing of Siddharth Upadhaya, deputy general manager of Bajaj Sugar Mill in Meerut on April 11, had surrendered before a local court on May 2.
The state government had announced a reward of Rs 20,000 for the capture of Singh as he was also wanted for the murder of former gram pradhan Sahab Singh of Kalina village on the Meerut-Baghpat border.
Upadhaya was gunned down outside the sugar mill by members of the Udham Singh gang, the state director-general of police told reporters in Lucknow soon after the killing.
The state police are still on the hunt for other members of the gang.