Hours after a video surfaced on social media purportedly showing prime accused Yogeshraj Singh claiming his innocence in the murder of a Bulandshahr police officer, and maintaining that he was not present at the spot when the alleged cow carcasses were discovered, which led to violence that left two people dead, the local BJP MP said Yogeshraj was doing “noble and eye-opening work”.
As for involvement in the murder of SHO Subodh Kumar Singh, in which the absconding Yogeshraj is accused number 1, Lok Sabha member from Bulandshahr, Bhola Ram, said, “We can only make a decisive call when all facts of the incident are out.”
He said, “Expressing your support for stricter cow slaughter laws is not a crime. He was doing noble and eye-opening work. He brought to my attention that such an incident has occurred. Rest is a matter of investigation.”
VHP joint general secretary Surendra Jain and Bajrang Dal’s Meerut division chief Balraj Dungar also backed Yogeshraj.
Bajrang Dal’s western UP co-convenor Praveen Bhati today said that Yogeshraj should surrender, PTI reported. But, Bhati added, the probe “should be conducted by a bigger agency…I think the CBI should probe it.”
Yogeshraj’s claim in the video that he was not present when the carcasses were found contradicts the FIR filed on Monday based on his complaint, which states that he had seen seven people slaughtering cows. “When we saw the cows being slaughtered, we raised an alarm. When they saw us, they ran away. Our Hindu sentiments have been hurt,” the FIR on alleged cow slaughter quotes him.
In the video, Yogeshraj purportedly claims that he wanted to settle the incident in a peaceful manner. He says: “I was notified that cows have been killed and I immediately rushed to the spot with others. We found people from the administration present there. We went to Siyana police station to get a complaint filed…”
Claiming that he was not present during the subsequent rioting, he states, “When we were sitting at Siyana police station, we came to know that villagers have pelted stones and firing has occurred in which a person and policeman have been shot. Since our demand of an FIR was being fulfilled, why would us, Bajrang Dal people, cause a riot-like situation? I have nothing to do with the second incident.”
Calling Yogeshraj “one of our best workers”, Bajrang Dal’s Dungar said, “It is a conspiracy by the administration to frame him. We will continue to fight for him.”
VHP’s Jain said, “Hindu organisations were named even before the SIT was formed. This can happen only if there is some agenda.”
Another video that surfaced on social media purportedly shows Sumit, who also died and has been named in the FIR on violence, getting shot while allegedly protesting. Sumit’s family maintains he was an innocent bystander, and Bulandshahr administration on Tuesday announced 5 lakh compensation for the family.
MP Bhola Ram said, “Whether he was part of the mob or not, the SIT will decide. The fact remains that he was shot… A lapse had occurred on part of the administration. Stone-pelting was a reaction to their ignorance towards cow slaughter.” Additional SP (City) Pravin Ranjan Singh, “We cannot confirm anything until the video is brought to our notice.”
UP Police presented three people in front of the District Magistrate on Wednesday after announcing that four accused named in the FIR had been arrested a day earlier.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines