1 city, 2 deaths, 2 FIRs and 4 arrests: The what, why and how of Bulandshahr violence

New Delhi: Four people were arrested in connection with the violence over an incident of alleged cow slaughter in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr district on Monday. The incident led to the death of two men – one of which was Station House Officer Subodh Kumar Singh. The key accused is still at large, said a senior police officer.

Addressing the media, Anand Kumar, ADG (Law and Order), added that Bajrang Dal leader Yogesh Raj is an accused but hasn’t been arrested. He further said that an SIT has been formed for the investigation.

How did the violence start?

  • The trouble started after villagers found some body parts of cow and its progeny in a jungle in Mahaw village, according to the ADG. Angry villagers and members of various Hindu groups brought the animal remains in tractor-trolley to the Chingarwathi Police Chowki and demanded action against the culprits. They raised slogans against the police administration and blocked the Bulandshahr-Garh highway.
  • District Magistrate Anuj Kumar Jha said police and senior officials tried to reason with the protestors but they refused to budge.
  • As Sub-divisional Magistrate Avinash Kumar Maurya arrived on the scene, protesters turned violent, pelting stones on policemen and indulging in arson.
  • District Magistrate Anuj Kumar Jha said police had to open fire in self-defence.

The clashes

  • Police Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh

    Mob protesting alleged illegal cow slaughter torched a police post and clashed with cops.

  • Police opened fire after the mob began pelting the police chowki in Siyana village with stones.
  • SHO Subodh Kumar Singh, who was injured and was attacked again while being taken to hospital, died before he could be treated. A video clip that did the rounds showed the inspector’s body in a Tata Sumo and shots could be heard in the background. Singh was the first investigating officer in the murder of Dadri resident Mohd Akhlaq, who was lynched in 2015 by a crowd over rumours of cow slaughter and beef consumption.
  • A man identified as Sumit reportedly suffered a bullet injury during the protests and died at the Meerut hospital.

The key accused

The prime accused Yogesh Raj, who had earlier lodged a complaint alleging cow slaughter, is allegedly the convenor of the Bajrang Dal unit in Bulandshahr. He is said to have led the group which resorted to violence on Monday after the recovery of cow carcasses on Sunday night.

2 FIRs lodged

Raj is among the 28 people named by police in a case of murder and rioting after the violence in Mahaw and 60 are unidentified. The list of accused also includes the names of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) youth wing president in Syana, Shikhar Agarwal, and Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s (VHP’s) former president in the same town Upendra Raghav. Syana is a town in Bulandshahr.

The senior police official said two FIRs have been lodged so far, one under the Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act related to the recovery of cow carcasses and the other for an attack on the police force. He said six teams were formed for the arrest of the accused.

No arrests have been made in connection with the recovery of cow carcasses.

Who said what?

Cop killed by police bullet: BJP MLA Ballia

The police inspector who died during the Bulandshahr violence was killed in police firing, BJP MLA Surendra Singh claimed on Tuesday, denying any role of Bajrang Dal members in the death.

Terming the incident “unfortunate”, the Rohaniya legislator said police did not “murder” him deliberately.

“I suspect that the inspector was killed by bullet fired by police. Bajrang Dal activists might have engaged in brick batting but they did not open fire. They had not gone there with bullets,” the MLA told reporters.

There is ‘jungle raj’ in the state: Mayawati

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Tuesday blamed the “irresponsible and wrong” policies of the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh for the mob violence in Bulandshahr district, reported PTI.

“Killing of (an) inspector and one other person in Bulandshahr violence is due to (the) irresponsible and wrong policies of the state government. Strict action should be taken against those involved in the act so that people can feel that there is a government here. Due to patronising of unscrupulous elements by (the) BJP, there is ‘jungle raj’ in the state,” she said.

Law & order is good here: BJP MP Bhola Singh

Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) MP Bhola Singh has claimed that the law and order is usually good in Bulandshahr.

“Law and order is usually good here but the police were kept in dark about this Ijtema (Islamic congregation) that happened here, it caused chaos. This is the cause of this violence,” he said.

Seems like a “pre-planned incident”: Prakash Karat

CPI(M)’s Prakash Karat has said that this appears to be a “pre-planned incident.”

“It appears to be a pre-planned incident. In western UP, using cow slaughter as issue, there were previous attempts also to create communal tensions when polls are nearing. Everyone remembers how Muzaffarnagar riots took place in 2013 before Lok Sabha polls,” he said.

Such incidents can’t be allowed: Ram Naik

Governor Ram Naik has condemned the incident and said that “whatever the reason may be, such incidents cannot be allowed,” reported ANI.

“Incident that took place yesterday is condemnable. CM has given orders for probe. I hope truth will be out in 2 days as he said. Strict action will be taken against those who committed this crime. Whatever may be the reason, such incidents can’t be allowed,” he said.

Govt Taking Proper Steps: Dinesh Sharma

Dinesh Sharma, Deputy Chief Minister said that proper steps are being taken in the investigation in Bulandshahr incident and that stringent actions will be taken against the culprits.

“Government is taking up proper steps and an order for investigation has been given. Stringent actions will be taken against the culprits,” he said.

Incident has let down humanity, says Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

Union Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi Tuesday said the Bulandshahr incident has let down humanity and appealed to people to stay cautious of elements creating such things for their own purpose.

“What happened in Bulandshahr has let down humanity. State govt has said that whoever is responsible will be brought to justice without any bias. I appeal to people to stay cautious of the elements who are creating unrest for their own interests.” ANI quoted Naqvi as saying.