The Uttar Pradesh police sees a “conspiracy” behind the Bulandshahr mob violence and is investigating why cow carcasses were found on December 3, three days ahead of the anniversary of the demolition of the Babri mosque, says the state’s police chief.
It was not merely a law and order issue, said Director General of Police (DGP) OP Singh, two days after Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh and 20-year-old Sumit Kumar, were killed in the mob violence that broke out after carcasses were found strewn in a jungle. With lakhs of people collected for a Tabligi Ijtema (congregation of Muslims) 40 km from Mahaw village where the skeletal remains were found, police also succeeded in containing what could have been a communal riot, he said.
“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 said. adding two FIRs have been filed. “One FIR is about cow slaughter and the other is on the violence. The probe is on in both,” he said.
Of the seven people from Naya Bans named in an FIR on cow slaughter related to the mob violence here, two are pre-teens, one does not stay in the village and a fourth was away at Ijtima, angry villagers said on Wednesday. The FIR is based on a complaint filed by Bajrang Dal’s district convenor Yogesh Raj, the main accused in the violence. Raj, who is among nearly 90 people booked for rioting and violence, has been absconding since Monday.
On Wednesday, Raj issued a video message claiming innocence, saying he was not present at the site. The video, in which Raj chants ‘Jai Shree Ram’ and introduces himself as the Bulandshahr district convenor of the Bajrang Dal, has been playing on local news channels. In the video, Raj says that in the alleged cow slaughter in Bulandshahr, which led to the violence, the police are portraying him as a “history-sheeter”. Bajrang Dal has asked Raj to surrender and said that it believes in his innocence.
Police are investigating the violence that led to the killing of Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh and Sumit Kumar of gunshot injuries on the basis of two FIRs — one on cow slaughter and the other on violence.
Naya Bans village, less than three kilometres from Chingrawati where the violence took place, is the focal point of the cow slaughter FIR. All seven named are from the village and all are Muslims.
According to the villagers, a 10-year-old Class 5 student and a 12-year-old Class 6 student are on the list. The two, who can’t be identified because of their minor status, are cousins. “Their names should be removed from the FIR which accuses them of cow slaughter. Just look at them,” said the father of the Class 5 student, pointing to the children.
The 42-year-old, who lost his right foot during a motorcycle accident six years ago, said the children stay at home. “I was summoned to the police station in Siyana on Tuesday. I was told the names (of the children) are in the FIR. I was made to wait for three hours and told that ‘kaptan saahab’ (local police chief) would enquire about something. But nothing happened and I returned home,” he said.
The mother of the Class 6 student said police reached her home at 2.15 am on Tuesday and started conducting a check at that unearthly hour. They were not sure of the name of her son and kept looking for a “Shehzaad” and “Qasim”. “They left at 2.30 am before leaving everything in the house messed up,” she claimed, adding that they kept asking where she was hiding him. Her husband lives and works in Delhi.
Tempers were running high in the village with residents disputing two other names. One was not a resident of the village and the other was working in the Ijtima. Mohammad Hussain said his brother Safruddin, 36, was wrongly named in the FIR. “Several people from Naya Bans, including Safruddin, went for the Ijtima. He was there from November 29 and returned yesterday. He was managing the parking at the Ijtima,” Hussain said, showing an Ijtima management slip that named Safruddin as a parking official. Safruddin, who works as a cloth trader in Siyana near Naya Bans, has three children — a 14-year-old daughter and two sons, 12 and 8. As his brother was being questioned by police, Hussain waited patiently outside the police station.
The fourth name being disputed is that of Sudaif Chaudhary. Queries about the name in the village yielded no result. Locals said nobody by that name lives there. “This (charges over wrong names in FIR) is part of verification,” SP, City, Pravin Ranjan Singh said.