A day after protesting farmers claimed to have nabbed a youth they said was part of an alleged plot to kill farmer leaders and incite violence during the ongoing agitation, Haryana Police termed the entire episode as “a third-grade Bollywood script”.
While the youth had told the media on Friday that he was part of a team of ten assigned the task to incite violence, a purported video of him that appeared on Saturday had him claiming that he was forced to make these statement by farmers.
Interestingly, everybody from farmers to the police, to the youth himself and his family have different versions of the story making it more intriguing.
The youth, who has been identified as Yogesh Singh, 21, is a resident of Sonipat who has studied till Class 9.
A police official said the man, who is being quizzed in Sonipat by the Haryana Police Crime Branch, has no criminal record.
“He was not carrying any arms or ammunition. We are questioning him, but nothing has so far been found that points to any kind of conspiracy, as is being alleged,” the official said earlier in the day, adding that further investigations are underway.
A senior police officer Saturday told The Indian Express: “The script is even worse than a third-grade Bollywood script. That boy was in the illegal custody of these people (farmers) for the past three days. He has told us that there were two more boys with him who were detained by these people. He was pressurised to issue such a statement. His family has arrived. We have got him medically examined. The food stall where he was eating and from where some boys kidnapped him has been traced. We have recorded the statements that have corroborated his version. His mobile phone’s tower location, call detail records, everything has been verified which corroborates his statement that he was abducted by these people who forced him to make such a statement.”
The officer added: “The SHO whose name this boy had earlier taken in the video that was shot by these people who kept him in illegal custody….there is no SHO by that name in entire Haryana, except only one who too is posted in one of the police stations in Sirsa, which is 250 km away from the place where he initially claimed he was contacted. Also, in the first video (purportedly prepared by the farmers) this boy was asked to say that he had seen the SHO’s nameplate and found that he was SHO of Rai police station. But, in Haryana Police, though the name of the SHO is there on his nameplate, but it is nowhere mentioned on his nameplate that he is in-charge of which police station,” the senior officer added.
When contacted, DGP Manoj Yadava said the police will issue an official statement over the matter soon.
After the farmers caught the youth at Singhu border, the boy had claimed before the media, while being accompanied by farmer leaders, Friday night that he was part of a ten-member group assigned to open fire during the agitation adding that he was hired for Rs 10,000. In the press conference, a farmer leader had further claimed that weapons were to be supplied to the group that youth was part of. Later, the youth was handed over to the police.
However, in a purported video released Saturday, the youth claimed he was assaulted by the farmers to make such statements.
In a video message, Yogesh Singh claimed that he had gone to Delhi on January 19 as his maternal uncle (mama) was blessed with a baby boy.
“At 4:30 pm on January 19, I was passing through the Kundli area. I told them (farmers) a lie that somebody was involved in eve-teasing. They thought that I was involved in the eve-teasing. They assaulted me after taking me to a camp. They asked me to do what they want. They prepared videos too. Four other boys were also caught by them.”
He added that he was jobless for the past one and half year adding his father is a cook while mother is a domestic helper.
Yogesh’s mother, however, contradicted his version stating he had left the home on January 20.
“He had told me that he was going for duty. Later, he told me on the phone that he was with a friend and won’t be able to return home today. At midnight (of January 22-23) at 2:30 am, five policemen landed at our home and took Yogesh’s father with them,” she said, adding that Yogesh’s maternal uncle (mama) has already expired and “we don’t have contact with his children”.
When asked about the matter, Chief Minister M L Khattar said the police will give an official statement after completing the questioning. “Currently, the police is questioning him. Till the time this is going on, to say anything will not be appropriate,” he told reporters on Saturday on the sidelines of an event.
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