On 17 December, 21-year-old Shrey Singh, the son of SHO Subodh Kumar Singh, who died at the hands of cow vigilantes, went back to Bulandshahr to collect his father's belongings. He went there along with Atul Kumar Singh, his tauji ( father’s elder brother), a retired subedar of the Indian army.
While in Bulandshahr, he got a chance to interact with senior police officers, including SP (City) Atul Srivastava and several other police constables, some of whom were witness to events on the day that violence had broken out.
Singh said, "The 400-strong mob that had gathered near the chowky was armed with axes, knives and stones. My father sustained 25 wounds from stone-pelting. He had a sharp knife wound on his back and an axe wound on his right hand. His right thumb had been cut off, which made him incapable of using his revolver in self-defence."
He further remarked, "The first question that came to my mind was — among the police personnel at the station, how did only my father suffer injuries in the mob violence? I asked this question to the police officials and constables whom I met, but received no clear reply. I believe that those who planned this dastardly act have systematically destroyed evidence. My father’s killing was not a case of robbery. He was wearing a gold ring in one finger, which was not removed. However, his mobile phones and a .32 bore pistol were taken from him. The police were not able to preserve the crime scene, though it was located so close to the Chingrawathi chowki. In fact, according to the driver of my father’s police vehicle, the mob gathered around the vehicle and attacked my father. The driver ran for his life. The cops came back later, and retrieved my father’s body. Later, the police vehicle was found to have been burnt."
Singh added, "When the police could retrieve my father’s body, why did they not drive the vehicle away as well? Why was it abandoned? This question has troubled me a great deal. It was obviously a deep-rooted conspiracy. When we met the Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, we said this to him. In a press interaction on Wednesday, he also has moved away from his earlier stand, when he had claimed it was an accident."
Police sources told Singh that people who were part of the mob took 200 videos of the incident. These videos are in the custody of the SIT probing the SHO’s death. Singh believes these videos can go a long way in identifying who fired the shot that killed the police officer.
Singh said, "The police have formed three SITs. One SIT is investigating my father’s killing, the second SIT is investigating the death of Sumit, while the third one is looking into the entire cow slaughter incident. Some of the videos that have been released by the local press in Uttar Pradesh show Sumit throwing stones at the police vehicle."
He also learnt that army sepoy Jeetu Malik, who is presently in custody, erased all his phone records prior to his arrest. This, Singh believes, was an extremely suspicious act.
Singh said, "So far, the police have made 18 arrests. However, not many details are available about them. The two main accused are Yogesh Raj and Shekhar Aggarwal. I asked police officials how the accused have been putting out videos. The officials said that the police have issued summons, and if the accused fail to surrender, they will be put in the most wanted criminals' list with rewards on their heads."
He recalled, "The Chingrawathi police station was not under my father's charge. He had been deputed to look after Bulandshahr city. At 5 a.m, he went to the city thana, checked everything and returned to his residence one hour later. At 9.30 a.m, my mother Rajini Singh, spoke to him. A little later, there was news that a cow had been killed near the Chingrawathi chowky. Within an hour, the police had succeeded in calming down matters. A friend of my father spoke to him on the phone a little after 10.30 a.m. My father made little mention of all these developments."
He further said, "At 11.30 a.m, the cow vigilantes had picked up the cow carcass and brought it to the main road. They then parked a trolley in the middle of the road and started cutting trees in order to block the traffic. Soon, the crowd of 40 had turned into an armed mob of 400. They started pelting stones and attempted to burn the check post. My father tried to calm them down. The other police officials sought shelter in a nearby government school. After entering the main gate, they locked it from inside and escaped from the back gate.’
Recalling the bullet wound his father suffered, he said, "When a bullet of a .32 bore pistol pierces a body, it bursts into many smaller parts. This is what happened when my father sustained a bullet injury."
He also said, "Earlier, my father had told the small contingent that was escorting him to carry out a lathi charge. But before they could take such a step, he was felled and the cops present chose to run for their lives. They were all armed. But they neither fired shots in the air, nor fired at the mob. The people living around the site of this murder have all run away. They could have helped to provide more information on what had happened. We are now awaiting the result of the SIT. After that, we will decide our next course of action."
Updated Date: Dec 20, 2018 16:40:10 IST