Gonda police, who arrested a historysheeter caught slaughtering a cow in Bhatpura village Sunday, are probing the possibility that it was a planned act meant to incite communal tension a day before a Muharram procession was to be taken out in the Hindu-dominated area.
The accused is a Hindu Brahmin, said sources.
Ram Sevak Dikshit, who has 18 criminal cases against him, including those of murder and dacoity, was arrested while he was allegedly slaughtering a cow in Katra Bazar police station area. Mangal Dikshit, who was also involved in the act and is an accused in three criminal cases, escaped, said police. Both belong to Bhatpura village.
Station Officer of Katra Bazar police station D P Singh said, “Around 7 pm Sunday, a 12-year-old boy spotted Ram Sevak and Mangal slaughtering a cow in a field. The boy alerted locals who ran to the spot and also informed police. People caught hold of Ram Sevak, who was drunk, while Mangal managed to escape”.
Ram Sevak and Mangal were booked under IPC sections 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups ), 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 379 (theft) and the Uttar Pradesh Prevention Of Cow Slaughter Act.
During questioning, Ram Sevak told police that they had stolen the cow from their neighbour Ganesh Prasad Dixit, said Singh.
“He claimed that they had planned to frame their rival Suhawan Dixit of the same village after slaughtering the cow. Suhawan is a witness in a murder case against Mangal and his father Rajvanshi,” added Singh. Ram Sevak was produced in court Monday, which sent him to jail.
SP Umesh Kumar Singh, said, “Though Ram Sevak gave a different reason, we are probing if there was a conspiracy to disturb communal harmony in the area as a Muharram procession was to be taken out the next day.”