[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t is said that in the land of Yogi Adityanath’s UP, a cow’s life is much more valuable than a human being’s. So it is no surprise that when the chief minister called a meeting to review the situation in Bulandshahr in the wake of violence, he directed the police to take strict action against those involved in the alleged cow slaughter, but did not utter a word about the murder of the police inspector, who was shot in the head as he was trying to pacify the mob of cow vigilantes. The violence also claimed the life of a civilian. Officials attending the meeting reported that the chief minister was very upset the incident was part of a ‘bigger conspiracy’, and hence, directed that all those directly or indirectly related should be arrested in a time-bound manner.
The chief minister has instructed all district magistrates and district police chiefs to implement anti-cow slaughter laws and shut down all illegal slaughter houses. The police has named 28 men in a case of murder and attempt to murder, of which eight belong to right-wing outfits Bajrang Dal, VHP and the BJP’s youth wing. There is suspicion that the entire incident was an attempt to manufacture a riot due to the timing, the location and the sequence of events. The dead inspector’s family has alleged a conspiracy to kill him because he was investigating the dreadful killing of Mohammad Akhlaq in Dadri by a mob over suspicion of cow slaughter.
The run-up to the violence is steeped in mystery. There is no explanation as to how the cow carcasses were hung up for display despite it being a sensitive issue in the area and how Hindu groups suddenly arrived at the spot, unless the whole thing is part of a well-planned operation. And even after the occurrence of the incident, Yogi has gone ahead with his routine, clearly signalling his misplaced priorities. On the day the violence broke out in Bulandshahr he was attending a laser show in Gorakhpur in the company of Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh.
While his state is sinking in lawlessness, the UP chief minister has been touring the country as the BJP poster boy of good governance. Before returning to Gorakhpur, he had a busy schedule campaigning for BJP candidates in Rajasthan and Telangana, where BJP has only symbolic presence in the poll fray. There are suggestions that the violence may have even been orchestrated by the BJP, VHP and Bajrang Dal to influence elections in Rajasthan and next year’s Lok Sabha polls. It is high time that the former Gorakhnath mahant restored order in his state before he recommended his fancy model to other states. Running gau-shalas is one thing, but administering a state quite another.