Bulandshahr violence: In video, main accused Yogesh Raj claims innocence; Bajrang Dal asks him to surrenderhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/bulandshahr-violence-yogesh-raj-accused-bajrang-dal-police-officer-killed-up5480209/

Bulandshahr violence: In video, main accused Yogesh Raj claims innocence; Bajrang Dal asks him to surrender

Raj's video statement, however, stands contradictory to what he said in the FIR. In the video, he claimed he went to the spot after he received information. But in the FIR, Raj had claimed he and his associates saw "seven people slaughtering cows" when they were roaming in the fields.

Bulandshahr violence: In video, main accused Yogesh Raj claims innocence; Bajrang Dal asks him to surrender
Bulandshahr violence: In the video, Yogesh Raj said the people are “portraying me as if I am a history-sheeter.” (Source: Piyush Rai/Twitter)

Yogesh Raj, the main accused in connection with the killing of a police officer in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr, has denied his involvement in the violence that broke out over alleged slaughter of cows. In a video message, Bajrang Dal member Raj claimed innocence and said he was not present at the site where the violence had erupted.

Raj, in the video, said the people are “portraying me as if I am a history-sheeter.” He is among 27 people named in the FIR in connection with the death of the inspector. Police are presently investigating the violence that led to the death of Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh and Sumit Kumar due to gunshot injuries on the basis of two FIRs — one on cow slaughter and the other on violence.

Referring to the Monday incident, Raj said, “There were two incidents that happened on that day.” Elaborating those incidents, he said, “The first incident was related to cow slaughter at Mahav village near Siyana. When I got information about that, I reached there with my supporters. The police also reached there and we went to the Siana police station for filing our complaint (about cow slaughter),” he said.

“When we were still at the police station we got to know that villagers were pelting stones. There had been firing as well and a youth and a policeman have received gunshot injuries,” he continued.

READ: Bulandshahr killings: Conflicting claims on carcass, samples sent for forensics

Raj’s video statement, however, stands contradictory to what he said in the FIR. In the video, he claimed he went to the spot after he received information. But in the FIR, Raj had claimed he and his associates saw “seven people slaughtering cows” when they were roaming in the fields. The FIR was lodged against seven people, including minors, under IPC section 295 at Siyana police station. Police said all seven named in the FIR are Muslims.

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Interestingly, the neighbour of the man on whose field the “carcasses” were found said farm workers had first flagged them.

Raj further brushed aside allegations that the Bajrang Dal was involved in the violence and said, “When police were writing complaint as we had asked for, why would Bajrang Dal protest?”

“I was not present at the location of the second incident. I have nothing to do with it. I have full faith in the God. I will be cleared of all accusations,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Bajrang Dal asked Raj to surrender before police and said it believed he is innocent. It also demanded a probe into the incident by the CBI, saying the police themselves were the complainant.

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“Yes, we admit having brought the carcasses to the police station because we wanted action against those involved in cow slaughter. But when the police had agreed to our demand and registered an FIR, then why should we create ruckus?” Bajrang Dal’s Western Uttar Pradesh region co-convenor Praveen Bhati asked.

Asked why then Raj’s name had cropped up, he said, “It is because the two incidents have been linked. The people who had gathered here were outraged over cow slaughter and Yogesh Raj went to the police station to get a case registered.”

“What happened here (violence at Chingrawathi police post) in the meantime, Yogesh Raj has got nothing to do with it. He is our district convenor, we are with him and he is innocent. He will cooperate with the police and come out at the right time,” he said.

Earlier, ADG (Law and Order) Anand Kumar had said police were looking for Raj and probing his role. The police had also said they were trying to ascertain if the accused have political links.

With PTI inputs