In yet another incident of violence over rumours of illegal cow slaughter, 47-year-old inspector Subodh Kumar Singh was shot dead during a clash at Siyana village in western Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr district. The 27 people named in the FIR for inciting the mob include several right-wing leaders like key accused Yogesh Raj, the Bajrang Dal's district head for Bulandshahr. Others include Shikhar Agarwal, who is linked with BJP's youth wing and Upendra Raghav, said to be associated with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP).
Raj was also the primary complainant in the first FIR, lodged against unnamed suspects charged with illegal cow slaughter. He had given a statement to police earlier in the day, claiming to have witnessed cow slaughter in the fields.
Hindutva views much?
An active member of the Bajrang Dal for the past eight years, Raj's Twitter handle would seem to be a stark pointer of his affiliation to extremist right-wing ideology. In a tweet posted on 17 September, he boasts about doing "dadagiri" (someone who bosses around) in the name of "Hindugiri".
— योगेश राज प्रवीण (@yogeshRajvhp) September 17, 2018
Days ahead of Eid-ul-Adha on 22 August, Raj had posted a tweet threatening to "destroy" the festival.
— योगेश राज प्रवीण (@yogeshRajvhp) August 19, 2018
In another tweet, posted on 23 November, he wrote about waging a "war" if the Ram temple issue in Ayodhya is not solved.
अयोध्या में जुटने लगी रामभक्तों की भीड़.. विहिप का एलान- अंगद, श्रीकृष्ण की तरह ये आख़िरी विनती.... इसके बाद होगा रण — योगेश राज प्रवीण (@yogeshRajvhp) November 23, 2018
Bajrang Dal's general secretary Balraj Doongar described Raj as a "Hindu activist" who "comes from a good family". According to a report by News18, Raj is a resident of Naya Bans village in the district. He had worked at a private firm prior to joining the outfit, reported Navbharat Times.
Was Bulandshahr attack pre-planned? Monday's incident came amid Muslim itjema (a large gathering of the community) in the city in which around 10-20 lakh people have reportedly gathered, said a Financial Express report. The FIR, accessed by Firstpost, revealed the many protesters were already carrying batons and sharp weapons when the police party reached the spot. Recording the sequence of events, the FIR stated that a police party comprising Inspector Singh reached Mahaw village in Bulandshahr. The officers tried to pacify an agitated mob and assured them of strict action against those who killed the cattle. But the mob turned later violent. Accused of leading the mob, a News18 report had quoted Raj telling police that he was roaming in the jungles of Mahaw along with some "companions" around 9 am on Monday when he saw six men of a minority community slaughtering cattle. He had allegedly called them out but they escaped. A video shared by ABP News hours later shows Raj arguing with Circle Officer Satyaprakash Sharma and asking the latter to register a complaint sans which they would block a highway. Raj later accepted that he, along with other members of the right-wing outfit, were among the protesters but denied fuelling violence which eventually led to the death of two people. News18 quoted him saying, "We were at the spot....Our motive was not to stoke violence," he had said. A journalist has reported that Raj was never seen before in the area where the attack had occurred.
#Bulandshahr: According to residents of Mahav village, where the bovine carcasses were discovered, alleged Bajrang Dal activist/leader Yogesh Raj is a resident of Naya Bans and had never been seen before in any of the 3 villages — Jatin Anand (@JatinPaul) December 4, 2018
According to sources, VHP worker Shikhar Agarwal had also held a meeting with outfit workers on 2 December in Siyana.
Tehsildar Rajkumar Bhaskar, who was one of the first administrative officers to reach the spot, told News18, "Dead cow meat was hanging in a sugarcane field. Head and skin of a cow hung like clothes on a hanger. It is strange because anybody who would indulge in cow slaughter would not put it out for display knowing the situation in the state." He also added that as soon as news about the dead meat spread, members of Hindu Yuva Vahini, Shiv Sena, and Bajrang Dal appeared on the spot and started agitating.
Police have registered a case against 80 people for violence, vandalism and killing of the inspector along with a 21-year-old youth, identified as Sumit. In all, police have also booked around 60 unnamed accused in the incident and arrested four people so far.
With inputs 101Reporters and agencies
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
Updated Date: Dec 04, 2018 17:34:12 IST