The Bharatpur Police in Rajasthan on Friday arrested two persons allegedly involved in the abduction and murder of two Muslim men in February.

The charred bodies of Nasir and Junaid were found in a car in Haryana’s Bhiwani district on February 16 after they were allegedly abducted by cow vigilantes from Bharatpur. Eight persons were allegedly involved in the crime, according to the police.

On February 17, the police had arrested one of the accused men, Rinku Saini, in the case.

The two persons who have been arrested on Friday have been identified as Monu Rana and Gogi. Inspector General of Police (Bharatpur) Gaurav Srivastava said that the two were arrested from an isolated hilly area in Dehradun.

Rana and Gogi were on Friday produced before a court, which sent them to police custody for 10 days.

Srivastava said that the accused men had links with Hindutva organisation Bajrang Dal and were also associated with other groups such as the Haryana Gau Raksha Dal.

To a question about Bajrang Dal member Monu Manesar, the official said: “We named him in the FIR, and he remains in our list of suspects. We will be able to comment on Monu Manesar’s involvement only after interrogating the persons arrested.”

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.

Haryana police officials called for questioning

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.

Nuh Superintendent of Police Varun Singla, however, said the allegations were baseless.

On Friday, Inspector General of Police (Bharatpur) Gaurav Srivastava told NDTV that authorities in Rajasthan have called police personnel from Haryana in connection with the case. He claimed that there had been a “huge lapse” on the part of officials in Haryana.

Srivastava said that the accused persons beat Junaid to death on the way to the police station, but Nasir was still alive when they reached.

“The cow vigilantes took both of them to Bhiwani in Haryana,” he added. “On reaching Bhiwani, they strangled Nasir to death and burnt the car by pouring petrol on both of their bodies.”