Violence broke out in Bulandshahr on Monday over alleged illegal slaughter of cattle, leaving a police inspector and a youth dead as a mob went on a rampage torching a police post and clashed with police, which opened fire to control the situation, officials said.
The incident took place near the Chingrawathi crossing, where hundreds of people had gathered. The protesters entered into a scuffle with the local police and the crowd started pelting stones at them.
Additional Director-General of Meerut zone Prashant Kumar said the protesters from Mahaw village and nearby areas pelted stones on the police and indulged in arson, setting several vehicles and the Chingarwathi Police Chowki on fire.
Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh, who was posted at the Siana Police Station, died in the violence. He suffered a gunshot injury in addition to wounds from hard and blunt objects, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Anand Kumar said, citing a post-mortem report.
Inspector Singh was investigating officer in the Akhlaq lynching case of Dadri between 28 September, 2015 and 9 November, 2015, he said, replying to queries from reporters.
Police said Sumit (20) also died of gunshot injuries sustained during the violence.
As tension prevailed in the area following the violence that lasted nearly three hours, the Uttar Pradesh government deployed additional police, including over 1,000 personnel of anti-riot forces, and ordered multiple probes -- by SIT, ADG-Intelligence -- and a magisterial inquiry.
A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been constituted to probe the matter and submit a report to the Uttar Pradesh government at the earliest, an official spokesman said.
Video footage showed people attacking a police station with sticks and stones.
Yogi Adityanath assures action against guilty
Expressing grief over the incident, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who is in Rajasthan for election campaign, said strict action will be taken against the guilty after the probe reports are received. He also said financial assistance would be extended to the affected persons.
The Congress hit out at the chief minister saying he should first set his own house in order before "gallivanting" around the country for election campaign.
Protesters block highway, indulge in arson
The trouble started after villagers found some body parts of cow and its progeny in a jungle in Mahaw village, ADG Prashant Kumar said.
Angry villagers and members of various Hindu groups brought the animal remains in tractor-trolley to the Chingarwathi Police Chowki and demanded action against the culprits.
They raised slogans against the police administration and blocked the Bulandshahr-Garh highway.
District Magistrate Anuj Kumar Jha said police and senior officials tried to reason with the protesters but they refused to budge. As Sub-divisional Magistrate Avinash Kumar Maurya arrived on the scene, protesters turned violent, pelting stones on policemen and indulging in arson.
Jha added that the police had to open fire in self-defence.
Meerut divisional commissioner Aneeta C Meshram said she was rushing to the spot to take stock of the situation.
KB Singh, Senior Superintendent of Police, said, "No one will be allowed to disrupt law and order, and people doing so will be dealt with sternly."
Reinforcements rushed to spot
The ADG (law and order) said additional reinforcements -- 500 personnel of Rapid Action Force and 600 personnel of Provincial Armed Constabulary -- were rushed to the spot of violence and the situation was under control.
Jha said, "Some people took the bodies of the animals and tried to block the road. The policemen were attacked when they tried to get the road opened."
The violence started at around 10 am in Siana area in the district where a major three-day Islamic congregation had concluded this afternoon. The police warned against attempts to spread any misleading information, saying 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 in the evening.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Jan 08, 2019 13:11:40 IST