The Bheem Army Tuesday threatened to hold a “Muzaffarnagar Bandh” if the killers of two Dalit youths recently found dead in Budhana and Purkaji areas of the district are not caught within the next 24 hours.
The body of Rajat (22), a college student, was found with a gunshot injury on the roadside in Purkaji area Monday evening. On Saturday, 23-year-old Kapil Jatav’s body was found with strangulation marks in a field in Budhana. Family members, in both cases, said they could not think of any possible motive for the killings, police said.
On Tuesday, members of the Bheem Army Bharat Ekta Mission, led by national spokesperson Manjeet Singh Nautiyal, attend the cremation ceremony of Rajat in Mandala village.
Nautiyal said, “Dalit youths who are fighting for a respectable life are being killed to ensure that the Dalit community does not rise. I have announced today that if police fail to arrest the murder accused within 24 hours, we will shut down Muzaffarnagar.”
The body of Rajat, a BA first year student, was found half a kilometre from his residence.
Station House Officer of Purkaji police station Vijay Singh said, “On Monday, a local resident spotted Rajat’s body on the roadside at around 5 pm. There was a gunshot injury on his chest. He was rushed to the hospital where doctors declared him brought dead. Locals later staged a protest outside the police station, demanding the arrest of the assailants. They were assured of quick action.”
“Rajat was shot while he was returning from college. We have recorded the statements of his classmates and friends, but no one could give any clue to what could be the motive behind the murder,” said the SHO, adding that Rajat’s family had ruled out any enmity.
SHO of Budhana police station Prabhakar Kendru said that in the case of Kapil Jatav, the autopsy report had stated that the victim was strangulated and his head bore an injury mark inflicted by a blunt object. “We are questioning local youths. Kapil was a vendor,” he added.
Circle Officer of Sadar area Mohammad Rizwan said Bheem Army members had met him Tuesday, demanding that the case be solved at the earliest. SSP Muzaffarnagar Sudhir Kumar Singh said, “We have some leads in both cases.”