Bahujan Samaj Party President Mayawati on Tuesday blamed the “irresponsible and wrong” policies of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in Uttar Pradesh for the mob violence in Bulandshahr district, PTI reported. A police inspector and a civilian were killed in the violence in Mahaw village on Monday after residents allegedly found cow carcasses.
“Due to patronising of unscrupulous elements by the BJP, there is ‘jungle raj’ in the state,” the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said. She demanded strict action against those involved in the violence “so that people can feel that there is a government here”. The Adityanath-led government should establish a rule of law to prevent mob attacks, Mayawati added.
The police have so far arrested four people and detained as many for questioning. A Special Investigation Team has been set up to look into the violence. However, the family of Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh, who was killed, called the incident a “police conspiracy”. Singh was the investigating officer in the Dadri lynching case for a couple of months in 2015.
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi alleged that those involved in the violence have been receiving protection from the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. “A police officer is killed using his own weapon... This monster [the violence] is their creation because they consider the life of a cow more valuable than of humans,” Owaisi said, according to PTI. “Right to life is a fundamental right in the Indian Constitution.”
Congress leader Kapil Sibal criticised Adityanath for the violence, ANI reported. “It’s a shocking state of affairs how a mob killed a police officer investigating the Akhlaq [lynching] case,” Sibal said. “Who gives these people the authority to take law in their hands? Instead of taking care of his state, Yogi [Adityanath] is going to Telangana [and] spewing venom.”
Adityanath is a star campaigner for the Bharatiya Janata Party in Telangana ahead of the state elections that will be held on Friday.
Sibal also sought to know if this was the “change” Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised when he came to power at the Centre, News18 reported.
Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi said that protection and encouragement to fringe elements was emboldening them to lynch even a police officer, PTI reported. She said: “Whatever is happening in UP, he [Adityanath] is accountable and if he not ready to take responsibility, he should be relieved of his post.”
Adityanath has called for a meeting with officials today at 8.30 pm at his home to discuss the law and order situation in the state, ANI reported.
Governor Ram Naik said that the state government has initiated an inquiry into the incident, ANI reported. “Strict action will be taken against those who committed this crime,” he said. “Whatever may be the reason, such incidents can’t be allowed.”
Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi described the killing as an “inhuman act” and said the state government has promised the strictest action against those responsible. “It is an inhuman act... whoever is responsible for the criminal violent act, stern measures should be taken against them,” said Naqvi. “During such violence, they are killing not just people, but also humanity.”
Naqvi urged people to remain cautious of elements trying to disturb peace and harmony in the society.
Condemning Singh’s brutal killing, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) claimed the violence had been “planned” in view of the Lok Sabha elections next year. “The communally provocative speeches being made by Chief Minister Adityanath have also created an atmosphere for the mobs to act with impunity,” the party said in a statement.
The surge in protests following rumours of cow slaughter “fits the pattern of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and other Hindutva outfits instigating communal tensions”, the party said.
Uttar Pradesh Cabinet minister OP Rajbhar, whose party is an ally of the BJP, also claimed that the violence was a conspiracy by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the Bajrang Dal and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. “Why the protest happened on the same day as Muslim ijtema [congregation] event? It was an attempt to disturb peace,” he said.
Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan said the police should also investigate who brought cow carcasses to the village “as there is no minority population in that particular area”.