Uttar Pradesh: A day after the death of a police inspector in violence by right-wing groups in Bulandshahr over alleged cow slaughter, the Uttar Pradesh police is still grappling with the several unanswered questions of what triggered the clash.
Speaking to media on Wednesday, UP DGP OP Singh claimed the incident in Bulandshahr was a big conspiracy and not just a law and order issue.
The Uttar Pradesh police is investigating why cow carcasses were found on December 3, three days ahead of the anniversary of the demolition of the Babri mosque, the state’s police chief said.
“How did the cattle carcass reach there? Who brought it, why and under what circumstances?” the top cop asked.
“We are not only seeing it as a law and order issue. It was a conspiracy and we are probing why the particular day – December 3 – and place on which the cows were slaughtered and their remains spread in the field were selected,” Singh told PTI.
He said two FIRs have been filed.
“One FIR is about cow slaughter and the other is on the violence. The probe is on both the matters,” he said.
Those named in the FIRs will not be spared, the DGP declared.
Asked whether it was an attempt to vitiate the atmosphere ahead of the demolition anniversary, the DGP said, “We are looking at all angles, including the selection of place (for cow slaughter) and timing of the incident.”
“Police succeeded in containing what could have been a communal riot. The situation could have been worse if local police not responded timely as lakhs of people were present at the venue of ‘Tablighi Ijtema’, which was about 40 km from the spot,” he said.
Though the congregation ended on December 2, over six lakh people were present on December 3 when the violence broke out, he said.
Amid a political furore over the killing of a police inspector and a youth in Bulandshahr in a case of mob violence, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday night ordered a thorough probe. Directions were issued for strict action against those involved in the alleged slaughter of cows.
The DGP said he directed officials for a thorough probe in the incident and instructed them to take stringent action against people involved in cow slaughter.
A mob of some 400 people, including right-wing activists, fought pitched battles with police on Monday in Siana area of Bulandshahr district, apparently after right-wing activists were angered by the discovery of cow carcasses strewn in a nearby jungle. They set fire to dozens of vehicles, hurled stones and also fired guns at police who retaliated with gunfire. In the violence, Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh, the station house officer of Siana, and 20-year-old Sumit Kumar were killed.
Police said on Tuesday that four persons were arrested, but the main suspect, Bajrang Dal district convenor Yogesh Raj, was on the run. They said 27 people have been named in the FIR while cases have been lodged against 50-60 unidentified people. Of the 27, at least four are workers and functionaries of right-wing organisations such as Bajrang Dal, the officials said.
Demanding “martyr” status for the slain inspector, who was one of those who initially probed the 2015 lynching of Mohammed Akhlaq, his sister alleged his killing was a conspiracy of the police and demanded martyr status for him.
According to Additional Director General (Meerut zone) Prashant Kumar, the protestors from Mahaw village and nearby areas pelted stones on police and indulged in arson, set ablaze several vehicles and Chingarwathi Police Chowki, after some body parts of cows were found in a jungle near the village, prompting the police to open fire.
A chilling video showing the body of a policeman slumped to ground from the seat of a police vehicle surrounded by some people came to light after the incident.
The accused have been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including those related to rioting, murder and attempt to murder.