Primary accused in the murder of Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh, Yogesh Raj, who is a local functionary of the Bajarang Dal, remains at large and the police manhunt is underway, Anand Kumar, ADG (Law and Order) said. He said that the Uttar Pradesh Police has arrested four people named in the second FIR registered against the murder of Singh and another a 21-year-old civilian youth and searches to nab the remaining accused is still underway.
Kumar said that the police had booked over 80 people in all, and had managed to identify at least 27 of them based on available video evidence and oral testimony of the eyewitness of the Bulandshahr violence. He revealed that six police parties are currently conducting raids and speaking to locals to identify and arrest the remaining accused. The police has also detained four to five people, who are being interrogated by the Special Investigation Team looking into the incident. A district court later sent three accused to judicial custody for 14 days.
Speaking to reporters, Kumar also dismissed fears that the police will do anything to avenge Singh's killing. He said that the SIT was formed in order to ensure that the investigation remains transparent and police excesses are avoided.
Kumar's comments came in light of reports claiming that men of the Jat-dominated Chingrawathi and Mahaw villages fled fearing retribution from police after the murder of Singh.
Kumar claimed that the SIT will not only probe the circumstances preceding the death of Singh, but will also investigate if there were any lapses on the police's part. "Whether or not the police followed procedure in the cow slaughter case, if the police fired on any one, or if the force was responsible in any way are all angles under the SIT's investigation," Kumar said.
Advising the media to refrain from speculating, Kumar refused to comment on reports claiming that Singh was killed with his own service revolver, or why his colleagues fled leaving his body alone at the farm. He said: " It would be premature to say it was an intelligence failure or failure of any other agency. No action will be taken against any policeman till probe is complete. Likewise, the police does not intend to unjustly arrest or bother any innocent civilian."
Kumar refused to comment on several loopholes such as why was Singh abandoned when the mob attacked his vehicle, whether or not the police acted first against the mob, or if there was a conspiracy behind the incident since it was reported that the protesting mob was heavily armed.
He said that he would wait for the SIT's report before commenting on these aspects of the case.
Meanwhile, Kumar did confirm that the 21-year-old youth, Sumit, who was also killed on Monday died of a bullet injury. He said that the bullet has been sent for analysis and the report would reveal whether he got caught in heavy firing by protesters, or was killed by the police. Kumar said that it was not clear whether Sumit was among the protesters, or was a bystander. When asked that whether Sumit could have died in police firing, Kumar said that nothing could be ruled out at this stage. He said that the local police did concede that they resorted to firing in the air to control the mob.
Kumar said that the SIT investigation will conclude in the next 48 hours and the report will shed more light on the events leading up to the police officer's death. In case of the FIR lodged against the unnamed miscreants indulging in cow slaughter, Kumar said that seven people have been booked and attempts are on to identify and arrest them.
Twenty-seven people have been named in the FIR, registered around 3 am following the violence Monday, while cases have been lodged against 50 to 60 unidentified people, police officials said.
Of the 27 named, at least four are workers and functionaries of right-wing organisations, including the Bajrang Dal, officials said.
According to Additional Director General (Meerut zone) Prashant Kumar, the protestors from Mahaw village and nearby areas pelted stones on police and indulged in arson, set ablaze several vehicles and Chingarwathi Police Chowki, after some body parts of cows were found in a jungle near the village, prompting the police to open fire.
A chilling 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. Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Bulandshahr, Krishna B Singh said police were probing the matter and raids were being conducted to arrest the other accused. The accused have been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including those related to rioting, murder and attempt to murder.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Dec 04, 2018 17:46:15 IST