Station house officer Subodh Kumar Singh, who died in a clash between police and a mob protesting against alleged cow slaughter in Bulandshahr on Monday, was the first investigating officer in the murder of Dadri resident Mohd Akhlaq, who was lynched in 2015 by a crowd over rumours of cow slaughter and beef consumption.
“He was the IO from September 28, 2015 to November 9, 2015. He was subsequently transferred to Varanasi,” said Uttar Pradesh Principal Secretary Arvind Kumar. Subodh was, at the time, in-charge of Jarcha police station in Noida and was instrumental in the prompt arrest of the accused, his colleagues said. Trial is yet to begin in the Dadri lynching as the city court is still hearing arguments on charges against the 18 accused. All of them are out on bail.
Anurag Singh, circle officer posted in Lucknow, said he had worked alongside Subodh on several assignments, including raids where the police team came under fire. “He was not one to run the other way. He always faced the challenge with bravery, head on. On at least three occasions, I saw him refuse to back down from such a situation,” Singh said.
Even after the Dadri lynching, he went to the village every day to quell rumours and keep the peace, Singh said, adding that Subodh held multiple meetings with representatives of both communities to make sure the situation did not escalate. After Akhlaq’s death, a Muslim wedding in the village was under a cloud, and he made sure it was not stopped under pressure, Singh said.
A resident of Tarigawa village in Uttar Pradesh’s Etah district, Subodh was the son of Ram Pratap Singh, who also served in the UP Police. “He got a job on compensatory grounds after his father died of a prolonged illness,” said Saurabh, his cousin.
Subodh’s wife Rajni and two children Shrey and Abhishek – one in school and another in an engineering college – live in Noida. “The family would regularly visit Tarigawa. Subodh’s elder brother Atul Singh retired from the Air Force and stays in Delhi,” said Subodh’s cousin Rahul Singh, adding that Subodh joined the police force in 1995.
“Subodh’s mother Satlesh Devi died last year,” said Rahul, adding that the cremation would be held in Etah Tuesday.