Bajrang Dal district chief Yogesh Raj has been named as the number one accused for violence and murder of police inspector Subodh Kumar Singh while a BJP youth wing member and a VHP workers have also been booked for rioting after rumours of cow slaughter in Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh on Monday, Dec 3.
Apart from Yogesh Raj, among those named in the FIR are BJP youth wing member Shikhar Agrawal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) member Upendra Raghav.
A youngster named Sumit was also killed during police’s retaliatory firing when the mob attacked the police. He was named in the FIR along with 27 others and there are 60 unnamed individuals as well.
“We will arrest more people today and will gather more evidence. The SIT team that has been formed is looking closely into the matter,” Prashant Kumar, ADG, Meerut Zone was reported as saying. Kumar said an SIT has also been formed to investigate why the police personnel left Subodh Kumar alone after he was shot, reported News18.
Police officers, on the condition of anonymity, told News18 that most men in the mob belonged to right-wing groups such as the Bajrang Dal, Hindu Yuva Vahini and the Shiv Sena.
In a statement to police on Tuesday morning, Yogesh Raj said he was the one who witnessed the cow slaughter incident in the fields on Monday morning.
Raj, a resident of Newbans village of Siyana, told the police that he was roaming in the jungles of Mahaw along with some companions at 9 am on Monday when he saw six men of a minority community slaughtering cattle, according to the News18 report. After this, he said he called them out, but they escaped from the spot, he alleged.
He accepted that he along with others of the right-wing outfit was among the protesters, but denied it was to stoke violence. “We were there at the spot because we were the ones who informed police about the incident. Our motive was not to stoke any violence,” he told News18.
Police inspector Subodh Kumar Singh had died along with a local after a mob turned violent over alleged cow slaughter on Monday afternoon. Singh was reportedly shot in the head above the left eyebrow after he had fallen unconscious when a stone hit him in the head. According to ADG (law and order) Anand Kumar, from the post mortem report, the bullet appeared to be a .32 bore.
A video showing the body of a policeman slumped to ground from the seat of a police vehicle surrounded by some people came to light after the incident. While there was no official confirmation about the identity of the man, police officers privately said in all likelihood it was police inspector Subodh Kumar.
The violence had started around 10 am in Siana area in the district where a major three-day Islamic congregation had concluded on Monday afternoon. The police, however, said the incident was not related in any way to the congregation.
“The incident occurred 40-50 km away from the congregation site. Some miscreants were behind the violence and action is being taken against them in accordance with law,” the Bulandshahr Police tweeted on Monday evening.
Expectedly, BJP MLA Surendra Singh Tuesday denied any role of Bajrang Dal members in the death of the police inspector during the Bulandshahr violence and instead blamed the police of killing him in indiscriminate firing.
“I suspect that the inspector was killed by bullet fired by police. Bajrang Dal activists might have engaged in brick batting but they did not open fire. They had not gone there with bullets,” Singh was quoted as saying by PTI.
Subodh Kumar Singh, who was injured and was attacked again while being taken to hospital, died before he could be treated — a video clip that did the rounds showed the Inspector’s body in a Tata Sumo vehicle while protesters recorded the scene. Shots could be heard in the background with people shouting ‘goli maaro’, said media reports.
Inspector Singh was the first investigating officer in the murder of Dadri resident Mohd Akhlaq, who was lynched in 2015 by a crowd over rumours of cow slaughter and beef consumption.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath
Expressing grief over the incident, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said strict action would be taken against the guilty after the probe reports are received, said media reports. He also said financial assistance would be extended to the affected persons.
He has called for a meeting with officials today at 8:30 PM at his residence over the prevailing law and order situation in the state. On Monday night, Adityanath had announced Rs 50 lakh assistance to the family members of Subodh Kumar Singh. The government also promised a job to a family member as well as “extraordinary” pension for the dependent family members.
Opposition targets BJP
The incident led to a political slugfest, with the Congress hitting out at the chief minister, saying he should first set his own house in order before “gallivanting” around the country for election campaign.
While Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav said violence and chaos have increased during the reign of BJP, BSP chief Mayawati blamed the “irresponsible and wrong” policies of the BJP government for the mob violence.
The CPI(M) blamed CM Adityanath’s “communally provocative speeches” for the incident and said it was “planned” in view of 2019 Lok Sabha polls. In a statement, the CPI(M) polit bureau condemned the brutal killing of police inspector and the bystander. “Such incidents are planned in view of the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. The communally provocative speeches being made by Chief Minister Adityanath have also created an atmosphere for the mobs to act with impunity”, said the CPI(M) in the statement.