The Uttar Pradesh Police on Wednesday arrested four people in connection with the alleged cow slaughter that triggered mob violence in Bulandshahr district on Monday in which two people were killed, the Hindustan Times reported.
SK Bhagat, the inspector general at the police station in Siyana, identified the four as Sajid Ali, Sarfuddin, Asif and Nanhe. However, only Sarfuddin and Sajid are named in the complaint filed by Bajrang Dal leader Yogesh Raj on the basis of which the police booked seven Muslims, including two children, in connection with the case on December 3.
Sarfuddin, a resident of Badkal, denied any involvement in the alleged slaughter. He said he had come to attend a religious event organised between November 30 and December 4. Asked where they had been arrested from, Sarfuddin said they had visited the police station after they were summoned. Asif and Nanhe were arrested on the basis of the disclosures of Sarfuddin and Ali, Superintendent of Police (City) Pravin Ranjan Singh told The Indian Express.
In his complaint, the Bajrang Dal leader had claimed that he saw seven Muslims slaughtering cows while out with friends on a walk in the forests near Mahaw. But he contradicted this in a video statement on Wednesday, claiming he went to the spot only after receiving information.
After news of the alleged cow slaughter spread, protetsors blocked the Bulandshahr-Garhmukteshwar state highway outside a police post in Chingrawathi, on the outskirts of Mahaw. Soon, the protests turned violent.
The first casualty in the violence was 20-year-old Sumit Kumar, a resident of Chingrawathi village, who sustained a bullet injury to his chest. He had travelled to a spot near the police post to drop off a friend on his two-wheeler and was caught in the crossfire, his relatives said. The police, however, have listed him as a suspect in the case related to the violence. The second casualty was Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh, who was found shot dead under mysterious circumstances. Singh’s professional background has led to several conspiracy theories. For a brief period, Singh was the investigating officer in the high-profile Dadri lynching case of 2015, before being transferred.
The police have arrested four people and detained four more for questioning in connection with the violence.
The Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force will help the government-appointed Special Investigation Team to probe the incident, PTI quoted Inspector General (Crime) SK Bhagat as saying. The four-member investigating team is going through the footage of the violence to zero in on the culprits, he said.
Adityanath meets police inspector’s family
Chief Minister Adityanath met the family of Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh in Lucknow on Thursday morning. He wrote on Twitter that the guilty will be punished, and that the state government has promised “extraordinary pension” for the family and a government job for a family member. He also said that the government will name the road connecting Jaithara to Kurawali after the police officer.
Several people have criticised the chief minister for focussing more on the alleged cow slaughter than Singh’s murder after he directed top administrative and law enforcement officials on Tuesday to conduct a thorough investigation in the case. The chief minister’s statement did not refer to Singh or Sumit Kumar.
Four more arrested in different case
The police also arrested four other people – Asif Qurshi, Raqib, Aman Khan and Waseem Pathan – in connection with another case filed after a cow carcass was found in the district’s Jahangirabad area, some 29 km away from Mahaw, on Wednesday.
Passersby allegedly found a cow carcass on the Jahangirabad-Daulatpur Road near a field and informed the police. Several Hindutva activists were already at the spot. The police pacified them by immediately registering a first information report, the Additional Director General of Police Anand Kumar said.