Bulandshahr violence: Bajrang Dal youth threaten Muslim family booked for cow slaughter; accused in both cases had past disputes

Bulandshahr: The recent mob violence in Bulandshahr that took the lives of a police officer and a villager, is threatening to take an ugly communal turn. Six Bajrang Dal workers reportedly barged into the home of a Muslim family that had been booked by the police on the cow slaughter complaint lodged by the outfit on Tuesday. Parveen Begum, 34, wife of Sarfuddin Hussain, one of those named in the FIR, said six people had forcibly entered their home in the Naya Bans area at around 6 pm on 5 December. They came “after the arrival of a reporter who was interviewing us regarding my husband’s name in the FIR”, said Praveen Begum. “Only women and children were present in the house. The women family members asked them to leave. But they stood silently gazing at everyone for about five minutes, and before leaving, told us not to speak to the media, otherwise they would see us again ("dekh lenge")”. Parveen Begum added that the intruders asked her to keep their house locked.

Nafessa, Sarfuddin’s aunt who also lives in the same area, said that she had seen a reporter at Parveen's house. She added, “I went there out of curiosity. After the reporter left, I saw a group of 5 to 6 people entering their house. They had parked their cars behind the house. After they came out, they were gazing in anger,” she said.

Sarfuddin’s daughter, Arshi, 15, also said that while coming home from her tuition at that time, she saw 5-6 cars with Bajrang Dal flags on them. “I saw a group of 5-6 people coming out of our house and going back in their cars. There were around 4-5 cars which had other men around in them”. The Hussain family informed the Nagar Palika chairman about this and will be lodging an official police complaint.

Subodh Singh's family at Yogi Adityanath's official residence. Image sourced by 101Reporters

Subodh Singh's family at Yogi Adityanath's official residence. Image sourced by 101Reporters

Meanwhile, Yogesh, the prime accused in the FIR relating to the mob violence, was absconding till the time of writing, according to the police. However, Bajrang Dal's Uttar Pradesh general secretary Balraj Dungar said that he had surrendered to the police on Wednesday, 5 December. “Yogesh had informed the police that on 30 November, 31 cows were slaughtered in Bulandshahr villages,” said Dungar. “But the police did not do anything. This angered the public and sparked violence, and a policeman was killed when people were protesting against the illegal cow slaughter”.

It needs to be mentioned that a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) worker, Shikhar Agarwal, held a meeting with the Bajrang Dal workers on 2 December in Syana. Agarwal, who belongs to Jawahar Gunj in Syana, is also one of the 27 accused named in the FIR relating to the mob violence. In a video that he released on Wednesday, Agarwal accused the late SHO of Syana police station, Subodh Kumar Singh, of instigating the riot in order to avoid the registration of a case of cow slaughter. "We filled the remains of gau mata in a tractor trolly and were bringing it to Chingrawati police station when Subodh Kumar Singh stopped us and told us to bury the carcass right there. We told him that this tractor has to go in front of the people, and after a long argument with him, we proceeded towards the station."

Agarwal says in the video that he met deputy District Collector Avinash Chandra Maurya and told him that Subodh Kumar Singh had threatened to shoot him or anyone who proceeds with the tractor. He also accused the slain SHO of flaring communal divide in Syana by saying that Singh "colluded with Muslims to hurt women of our community."

"I trust the Yogi government will hold a fair inquiry in this case, and I should be hanged if I am guilty, or let free if I am not."

Yogesh, now in his mid twenties, loves to be called a Ram bhakt, and has apparently been an active member of Bajrang Dal since the age of 16 and is at present district coordinator of the Bajrang Dal in Bulandshahr, according to Balraj Dungar. A law student in DAV College in Bulandshahr, Yogesh had developed a reputation of being vocal on the issues of Hindutva, cow slaughter and his rantings against Muslims. On 29 October he, along with other Bajrang Dal workers, had protested against alleged cow slaughter on the outskirts of Surajpur Makhaina village in Bulandshahr and even got an FIR registered in this connection against two Muslim residents Laddan and Rifaqat. The Anoopshahr police, where this case has been lodged, said investigation is still on and no one has yet been arrested.

Mohammed Hussain (left) and Mohammed Sabir (extreme right). Image: 101Reporters

Mohammed Hussain (left) and Mohammed Sabir (extreme right). Image: 101Reporters

In his latest complaint, Yogesh claimed illegal cow slaughter happened during the three-day Tablighi Ijtema (an Islamic congregation) from 1-3 November. Habib Rehman, also a resident of Naya Bans said, “Yogesh often shows disaffection with the Muslim community. He has held many rallies in which he raises slogans like ‘agar Bharat mein rehna hai toh Jai Shree Ram bolna padega’ (If you want to live in India, then you have to chant Jai Shree Ram)”.

“Yogesh has also complained about the loudspeaker in the mosque,” said Shamim Khan, another Naya Bans resident. “The police banned our loudspeaker in May 2017 after several of his complaints."

Mohammad Hussain, a cloth trader and resident of Naya Bans, added, “Yogesh’s request to turn off the loudspeaker was turned down many times by my brother Sarfuddin, who was the manager of the mosque”. The loudspeaker was finally turned off when Yogesh claimed that the mosque is a madrassa and hence, cannot use loudspeakers.

Meanwhile, Inspector General (Crime) SK Bhagat told the media on Wednesday that preliminary investigation suggests that the carcass was at least two days old, though firm conclusions can be drawn only after getting the forensic report. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath met the wife and son of slain inspector Subodh Kumar Singh on 6 December.

(The authors are freelance writers and members of 101Reporters.com)

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Updated Date: Dec 06, 2018 22:04:51 IST

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