The Haryana Police have formed a Special Investigation Team to look into allegations of negligence against their Crime Investigation Agency team in connection with the death of two Muslim men, whose bodies were found in Bhiwani district, reported PTI on Monday.
The charred bodies of Nasir and Junaid were found in a car on February 16 after they were allegedly abducted by cow vigilantes from Rajasthan’s Bharatpur district. The police have booked five persons, including Bajrang Dal member Monu Manesar, in the case but arrested only one of them named Rinku Saini.
Ismail, the brother of Junaid, had alleged that the victims were taken to a police station after they were assaulted by the cow vigilantes but the police in Haryana’s Nuh district refused to take them into custody.
The Rajasthan Police have seized CCTV footage of all institutions near the Crime Investigation Agency police station to establish the fact that the accused men visited the police team after abducting Nasir and Junaid, according to The Tribune.
Nuh Superintendent of Police Varun Singla, however, said the allegations were baseless. She added that an SIT has been formed under Assistant Superintendent of Police Usha Kundu to look into the claims.
Singla said that he is waiting for the report from the Rajasthan Police on the role of the Crime Investigation Agency. “If our men are found involved, action will be taken,” he added.
Meanwhile, the families of the two men have been holding a sit-in protest, demanding the immediate arrest of Manesar, reported the Hindustan Times.
“We are not given justice,” said one of Junaid’s relatives on Sunday. “Monu Manesar should be arrested and till then we will continue the dharna.”
Manesar, who frequently courts controversy over the actions of his cow protection group, had posted a video on social media denying his involvement in the case. He is known for sharing videos of vigilantes chasing, confronting and nabbing alleged cow smugglers.
Manesar has been associated with the Bajrang Dal since 2013 and is involved in several instances of cow vigilantism, according to Alt News. While he has claimed that his team has never assaulted alleged cow smugglers, several photos uploaded by the Hindutva organisation on social media have shown such men in a wounded state.
Another person booked in the case, Lokesh Singhla Mewat, too has denied his involvement and demanded an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation.
In a video, Mewat, the local president of cow vigilante group Gau Raksha Dal, said that the matter should not be given a religious or political colour.
“I have been named in the FIR [first information report] but it is not based on any truth,” he claimed. “I was present in court with my friend on February 14 and the police can check the CCTV footages. On the next day, I was in a hospital as my son was unwell.”