Bulandshahr violence: Opposition members, activists slam Yogi Adityanath for 'gallivanting' after Subodh Singh's murder

The Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government has come under the scanner with increasing incidents of violence in the state, the latest of which occurred in Bulandshahr on Monday, when a police inspector was shot dead by a mob in an alleged case of cow slaughter.

Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh, who was the head investigating office in the Dadri lynching case in 2015, sustained a gunshot injury above his left eyebrow when an angry mob belonging to various Hindu groups brought a cow's remains in a tractor-trolley to the Chingarwathi police post and demanded action against the culprits. They raised slogans against the police administration and blocked the Bulandshahr-Garh highway.

Apart from the cop, a youth named Sumit was also killed in the violence. He was about 20 years old and was allegedly killed in police firing.

The incident has caused an uproar, with several politicians and sections of the media condemning chief minister and demanding action against the perpetrators of the crime.

Singh's wife demanded the death of the murdered police inspector's killers, and said that "justice will be done" only then. She added, "He worked with utter honesty and took all the responsibility on himself. This is not the first incident, he had bullet injuries twice before. But now nobody is giving him justice."

Singh's family alleged that he was killed because he was investigating the Dadri case. His sister claimed that the death was part of a "conspiracy by the police". She added, "He should be declared a martyr and a memorial should be built. We do not want money. The chief minister only keeps saying 'cow, cow, cow'."

The Congress condemned the deplorable law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh and said that the "growing hate" in the country was palpable. "It is tearing the very fabric of our nation apart. We must fight this hate and fight the perpetrators of this hate," the party's statement on Twitter said.

The party's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that after "handing over" Uttar Pradesh to "anti-social" elements, Adityanath is busy campaigning for the BJP party. "Absence of law and order and violence unleashed by mobocracy is the real identity of BJP governments," he tweeted in Hindi.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi, at a press conference on Monday, also slammed Adityanath for "telling other people" to follow his example. He said that the chief minister is campaigning across the country and such violence is happening in his own backyard. Singhvi said, "Here is the poster boy of the BJP in terms of good governance... He should first set his own house in order before gallivanting across the country campaigning and preaching to others. This is an utter failure of the law and order situation."

Kapil Sibal, another Congress leader and lawyer, questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi's promise of change. Listing a series of situations, including retired judge Kurian Joseph's statement on former CJI Dipak Misra, Sibal said, "Is this the 'badlav' you promised, Modiji?"

However, BJP MP from Bulandshahr Bhola Singh defended the Uttar Pradesh administration and directed blame at the Ijtema, the Islamic congregation event that had taken place in the area. He said, "Law and order is usually good here, but the police were kept in the dark about this Ijtema that happened here. It caused chaos. This was the cause of this violence."

CNN-News18 reported that Union minister Uma Bharti also blamed the Muslim congregation for the violence.

Adityanath, who has been campaigning in poll-bound Telangana over the past week has had a war of words with AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi whose party is a strong contender in the state. About the Bulandshahr violence, CNN-News18 quoted Owaisi as saying that Adityanath should stop his "pointless campaigning" and take note of the situation of law and order in his state "if there is any humanity in the chief minister". "People are being killed in his state and criminals are killing cops in Uttar Pradesh," he added.

Owaisi also said that "gau rakshaks"  get "full protection" from the government. "Now a monster is created. This monster has been created by the government. Cow's life is more important than that of a human being; this is the BJP's responsibility," he said.

Uttar Pradesh minister OP Rajbhar called the murder a "planned conspiracy" by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Bajrang Dal, and RSS. ANI quoted him as saying, "Now police is even naming some BJP members. Why did the protest happen on the same day as Muslim Ijtema event? It was an attempt to disturb peace."

Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi urged the public to be cautious of "elements" who are "creating unrest for their own interests". He added, "What happened in Bulandshahar has let down humanity. The state government has said that whoever is responsible will be brought to justice without any bias."

The IPS Association, condemning the "lethal attack" on Singh, said that the association "recognises his bravery". In a tweet, it said, "(We) recognise his bravery and risks police officers are exposed to because of disruptive mob mobilisations. We demand the strongest action against perpetrators and instigators."

Shah Faesal, an outspoken bureaucrat, said that he would support the implementation of the controversial AFSPA to combat cow vigilantism, or "terrorism". Faesal tweeted, "I support extension of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) to cow-belt of India for giving security forces a free hand to deal with gaurakshak terrorism."

I support extension of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) to cow-belt of India for giving security forces a free hand to deal with gowrakhshak terrorism.

— Shah Faesal (@shahfaesal) December 3, 2018

Faesal was the first bureaucrat from Kashmir to top the IAS exam in 2010. Earlier this year, Faesal was in the centre of a controversy when he demanded free speech and expression for Indian bureaucrats after his tweet regarding the rape and murder of an eight-year-old in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua district was criticised.

However, Faesal had said that the notice for departmental action was "misplaced" and against the right to freedom of speech. He had said, "We are not mere pen-pushers here who have no business in participating in the larger debates around social issues just because our opinions can be misinterpreted as being critical of the government of the day."

Student activist Umar Khalid said condoled the police inspector's death and extended solidarity with his family. On Twitter, Khalid said, "Another glimpse of Modiji's New India, where a lawless mob kills an enforcer of law. This is what happens when leaders spread vitriol, leaders garland murder convicts, and a person accused of inciting riots is made the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh."

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Dec 04, 2018 16:23:33 IST