New Delhi: Three weeks after a policeman and a local were killed in mob violence in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr over allegations of cow slaughter, the state police on Thursday said they had arrested the key suspect who allegedly shot the cop on December 3.
The suspect, identified as Prashant Natt, works as a cab driver in Delhi. He allegedly killed inspector Subodh Kumar Singh with his own service revolver during protests in Bulandshahr.
Inspector Singh and a local youth, Sumit Kumar, were killed on December 3 in mob violence near Siyana village during protests against alleged cow slaughter.
As per reports, Subodh Singh had fired at a crowd in self-defense killing Sumit Kumar who had thrown stones at the cop. Prashant and other protesters, identified as Rahul, David and Johnny, cornered Subodh in the fields and attacked him with stones.
“He fired in self-defence. The bullet hit Sumit… By this time, Subodh was grievously injured and had little energy left to defend himself,” Bulandshahr SSP Prabhakar Chaudhary was quoted as saying in media reports.
Prabhakar Chaudhary informed that Prashant Natt took Subodh’s service revolver and shot him in the head.
“His (Natt) confession has been corroborated by other accused who submitted surrender pleas in the last week,” the top cop added.
Initially, police had named Bajrang Dal activist Yogesh Raj as the prime suspect in Subodh’s killing. Raj is still at large.
During interrogation, Natt told police that he worked as a taxi driver in Delhi. He has been unemployed for the last six months and stayed with his wife and children in Chingrawati. Citing sources, the IE report said that Natt also allegedly had a criminal background.
The arrest comes over a week after Singh’s family blamed political pressure for the police’s failure to arrest the main accused in the case. Earlier, six of the 27 accused named in the case were arrested. As many as 19 others have been held after they were caught on video footages of the violence.
A special investigation team (SIT), which was constituted to probe the violence, arrested Nat near Noida. It had until late Thursday been unable to recover Singh’s missing pistol, which was allegedly used to kill him.
Nat’s arrest comes even as three key accused, Bajrang Dal’s Yogesh Raj, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Shikhar Agarwal, and Upendra Raghav, a Vishwa Hindu Parishad activist, named in the case remain on the run.
The police had on December 14 released posters with pictures of 23 people wanted for the violence.