Greater Noida: Live-in partner held for folk singer’s murder

Hailing from a Bulandshahr village, Sushma had been singing folk songs for the past 10 years. She was well versed with classical music and her songs depicted rural themes.

Days after folk singer Sushma was shot dead outside her Greater Noida house by two assailants, police have arrested six men, including her live-in partner, for the crime. According to police, the singer s live-in partner, Gajendra Bhati, allegedly planned the murder and executed it with help of two shooters. The accused shooters, Mukesh and Sandeep, were arrested after an encounter in Jewar. The two had been absconding since last week. Four others, including Sushma s live-in partner Gajendra Bhati, have been arrested. During investigation, it was found that he had a dispute with Sushma over property as well as personal problems. We are investigating the matter, said Vaibhav Krishna, SSP Gautam Budh Nagar. According to police, Bhati and Sushma had been living together for four years after she got divorced. However, Bhati allegedly "didn't trust her" and also did not approve of her singing, police said. As a result of this, the duo would fight often, said police. According to police, Bhati was also involved in the first attack on Sushma in Bulandshahr two months ago. On the day she was shot dead, Sushma had gone to Bulandshahr for a follow-up in the same case. Bhati claimed that Sushma would pressure him to sign over his property to her and her son. This led to tension between the two. He claimed that he tried committing suicide in February last year due to harassment, said SSP Krishna. Gajendra s relative, driver and acquaintance Ajab Singh, Amit and Pramod have also been arrested. Sushma s younger sister Sonu, who was with her during the shooting, said: The accusations made by Bhati are baseless. We earn enough through our music and and have never eyed anyone s property. The suicide bid by Bhati was a hoax to intimidate us, Sonu told The Indian Express. Both Sushma and Sonu hail from Bulandshahr s Nekpur and have been pursuing a career in folk singing for the past 10 years. Greater Noida police have rewarded the Beta 2 and Star 2 teams with Rs 25,000 following the encounters. Sushma and Sonu lived with Bhati in Greater Noida s Mitra Society. On Tuesday last week, she was shot five times as she was returning from Bulandshahr. Both and Sushma and Sonu took to folk singing almost a decade ago and became popular in the region. Sushma was well versed with classical and Ragini form of local music, according to her sister. She would also write lyrics for some of her songs and both sisters would feature in YouTube videos which fetched millions of views. Sushma would be invited to sing in religious functions around twice a week owing to her popularity.