“A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been formed to investigate why the violence happened and why the police personnel left Inspector Subodh Kumar alone”
Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr in the grip of a shock following the brutal killing of a policeman after an angry mob resorted to violence over allegations of illegal cow slaughter in the area. The policeman, identified as Subodh Kumar Singh, was posted as the SHO at the police station that came under attack from a violent mob over the alleged slaughter of 25 cows in Bulandshahr. The cop reached the scene to pacify villagers who blocked the highway affecting movement of traffic.
As per officials, SHO Kumar was trying to control the wild mob and was wounded in the head with a stone. Although the driver tried to take him to a hospital in the vehicle, the mob chased the car and shot the police officer after cornering it in a field. Two people have been arrested in connection with the killing, while five others have been detained. A local bystander was also killed in the violence. UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has declared Rs. 40 lakh for Singh’s family, Rs. 10 lakh for his parents and a government job for a family member. An SIT has also been constituted to find out why SHO Kumar was left alone by other policemen. The SIT has two days to file its report.
Here are the top developments in the Bulandshahr violence:
1. Bajrang Dal member among accused, four arrested
On Tuesday, a day after Station House Officer Subodh Kumar was allegedly killed by a mob in Siyana village in Bulandshahr district of Uttar Pradesh, the police arrested four people in connection with the case.
A member and district convener of the fringe group Bajrang Dal, he is named among the accused. Yogesh Raj was also the complainant in a separate case of cow slaughter.
“Four people have been arrested. I don’t know about the organizations yet, but the main accused in the violence is Yogesh Raj who has not been arrested till now,” said ADG Law and Order, Anand Kumar.
2. Two FIRs registered
The First Information Report lodged in the case lists 27 people and has around 60 unnamed accused, say reports. Another FIR has also been registered – regarding alleged cattle slaughter that preceded the Bulandshahr violence.
3. Mob alleged illegal cow slaughter
The clashes erupted on Monday in ensuing protests against alleged cow slaughter after carcasses of about 25 cows were found in forests near a police post.
ADG Law and Order, Anand Kumar told media persons that people complained that cattle carcass was found in the field. While villagers were assured action, they carried the carcass on a tractor and blocked the main road. Protests then turned violent and stones were pelted on police forces who retaliated with lathi charge.
4. No link with Muslim congregation, clarifies UP Police
The UP police quashed rumours that linked yesterday’s violence with the Muslim congregation in the city. “Please don’t spread fake news. This incident has no connection with the Ijtima. The Ijtima congregation concluded successfully. The said incident took place around 40-50 kms away from the place, where Ijtima was organised. Appropriate actions are being taken against the perpetrators of today’s violence,” it said on Twitter.
There were others who saw a possible conspiracy. Tehsildar Rajkumar Bhaskar told News18, “Dead cow meat was hanging in a sugarcane field. Head and skin of a cow hung as if they clothes on a hanger. It is strange because anybody who would indulge in cow slaughter would not put it out for display knowing the situation in the state. It was visible from far away.”
5. SIT To Probe why SHO Subodh Kumar was left alone
“A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been formed to investigate why the violence happened and why the police personnel left SHO Subodh Kumar alone,” ADG Prashant Kumar, Meerut Zone was quoted as saying to ANI. The kin of the deceased have also questioned why SHO Kumar was left alone in the vehicle and also alleged a conspiracy.
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has handed the SIT two days’ time to prepare a preliminary report over the incident. The Police has also said guns were fired by the miscreants during the clashes. SHO Kumar was also the investigation officer in the 2015 Akhlaq lynching case in Dadri.
6. Post-mortem confirms bullet in the head killed cop
The bullet pierced 47-year-old Subodh Kumar Singh’s head near the left eyebrow, the post-mortem report said. “As per post-mortem report it appears to be a .32 bore,” the ADG (law and order) Anand Kumar said.
Several police officers who were at the spot later told News18 that the mob did not let Singh to be taken to the hospital. Ram Ashray, the driver who was at the wheel of the SHO’s vehicle, was among the first ones to rush to the injured officer in order to get him first aid.
Ashray was quoted as saying, “He was lying on the ground. I drove the car to a field and put him in it. As soon as we began moving, a mob landed and started shouting, ‘maaro, maaro’. They were throwing stones from behind trees. Everyone started running away. I ran as well. The SHO was already injured and we were trying to take him to the hospital. We could hear gunshots from the sugarcane fields.”
It is being said that the mob which killed him snatched his service gun as well as his mobile phone.
7. Youth who died had no part in the violence, was just a bystander
Besides SHO Kumar, a bystander, whom police identified as a 20-year-old youth named Sumit, died of a gunshot injury and five policemen were injured in the violence amid rumours of cow slaughter.
As per the police, Sumit, an undergraduate student at a government college, was not part of the protest. He was visiting the area to drop a friend when he got caught in the mob violence, a report in the Indian Express said.
The protesting mob also burnt down several vehicles and the police station and also fired shots.
8 “Hot-blooded elements”: Did police underestimate the gravity of the situation?
The administration has denied that the two deaths took place due to a lack of police force. The district magistrate admitted that a major part of the force was deployed for the Ijtema, a Muslim congregation being held 45-50 km away. However, the extent of the mob violence could not have been foreseen.
“Forces from other stations reached after being informed of the riot. But it was too late,” the district magistrate said
As per sequence of events, Subodh Kumar Singh reached the spot between 10 am and 11 am along with three support staff, including a driver. The policemen requested angry villagers to clear the road and promised to file an FIR and take prompt action.
District Magistrate (Bulandshahr) Anuj Jha was quoted as saying, “It was essentially a request for clearing the way. The police officer was maintaining protocol by responding to a crime call. Our belief is that some hot-blooded elements came only for the purpose of creating a law and order situation.”
9. Family in mourning, sister alleges conspiracy
The Uttar Pradesh government has announced a compensation of Rs. 50 lakh for the family of the deceased policeman and a government job for a family member. However, the kin of the slain cop have demanded that the CM must meet them first and ensure that SHO Kumar gets the honour he deserves. Alleging a conspiracy on part of the police, the victim’s sister questioned why the policeman was alone in the vehicle and alleged that he was killed as he was part of the probe into the Akhlaq lynching case in Dadri.
Sister of Policeman Subodh Singh told ANI, “My brother was investigating Akhlaq case and that is why he was killed, it is a conspiracy by Police. He should be declared martyr and memorial should be built. We do not want money. CM only keeps saying cow, cow, cow.”