Denying any role of Bajrang Dal members in the death of the police inspector during the Bulandshahr violence, BJP MLA Surendra Singh Tuesday claimed the Station House Officer was killed in police firing. Describing the incident as “unfortunate”, the Rohaniya legislator, however, said police did not “murder” him deliberately.
“I suspect that the inspector was killed by bullet fired by police. Bajrang Dal activists might have engaged in brick batting but they did not open fire. They had not gone there with bullets,” Singh was quoted as saying by PTI.
SHO Subodh Kumar Singh was among two persons shot dead in mob violence Monday in a Bulandshahr village in western UP where cars were torched and policemen attacked by men alleging slaughter of cows and demanding immediate action. Police opened fire after the mob began stoning policemen at the police chowki in Siyana village.
The main accused in the case, according to police officials, is Bajrang Dal Bulandshahr district convenor Yogesh Raj, PTI reported. He is yet to be arrested. The MLA said though the people indulged in stone pelting, it was police who opened fire on them and the inspector was hit by their gunshot. “Police did not murder him deliberately,” he said.
Four people have been arrested in connection with the case. Besides, a special investigation team has been formed to probe the violence. A total of 27 people have been named in an FIR registered around 3 am following the Monday violence, while cases have been lodged against 50 to 60 unidentified people, the news agency reported. Of the 27 named, at least four are workers and functionaries of right-wing organisations, including the Bajrang Dal, they said.
‘Whose father is next,’ asks son of inspector killed in Bulandshahr violence
The son of the deceased police inspector said his father wanted him to be a good citizen who doesn’t provoke violence over religion. “My father has lost his life in this Hindu-Muslim dispute. Whose father is next?” Abhishek Singh was quoted as saying by PTI.
Meanwhile, the inspector’s sister alleged the killing was a “conspiracy” by the police. “My brother was killed in a conspiracy by the police as he was probing a cow slaughter case (the Akhlaq lynching case),” Sunita Singh told reporters. “He should be given a martyr’s status and a memorial should be constructed in his name in our native place.”
“The cow is our mother, I accept that. My brother has given his life for her. The CM used to chant ‘gau, gau, gau’. Why can’t he come for cow protection?” she said in an emotional outburst against Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Opposition targets BJP over Bulandshahr violence
The Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government has been facing scathing criticism from all quarters over the incident. While Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav said violence and chaos have increased during the reign of BJP, BSP chief Mayawati blamed the “irresponsible and wrong” policies of the BJP government for the mob violence.
The CPI(M), on the other hand, blamed CM Adityanath’s “communally provocative speeches” for the incident and said it was “planned” in view of 2019 Lok Sabha polls. In a statement, the CPI(M) polit bureau condemned the brutal killing of police inspector and the bystander. “Such incidents are planned in view of the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. The communally provocative speeches being made by Chief Minister Adityanath have also created an atmosphere for the mobs to act with impunity”, said the CPI(M) in the statement.
Terming the incident as “inhuman”, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi Tuesday said stern action should be initiated against those responsible. “It is an inhuman act…whoever is responsible for the criminal violent act, stern measures should be taken against them,” he said.
Slamming Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress asked if “this was the change” he promised the country, and demanded an inquiry under the supervision of a sitting high court judge into the incident. Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal castigated CM Adityanath, alleging he was watching a sound and light show in Gorakhpur with his Chhattisgarh counterpart Raman Singh when the violence happened on Monday. “Prime Minister Modi before the 2014 elections used to say repeatedly that we will usher in change and also politics of change. I don’t know how much change has come,” Sibal said at a press conference.
“But from 2014 till now, we have seen not change, but revenge, not change, but fear, not change, but hidden corruption, not change, but politics over Ram, politics over Hanuman…is this the change that Modi ji had promised. Look what kind of a change he has brought about in Bulanshahr,” he said.
CM Adityanath, meanwhile, has called for a meeting with officials today at 8:30 PM at his residence over the prevailing law and order situation in the state. On Monday night, Adityanath had announced Rs 50 lakh assistance to the family members of Subodh Kumar Singh. The government also promised a job to a family member as well as “extraordinary” pension for the dependent family members.
Youth’s family refuses to conduct last rites; demands job, compensation
The bystander, identified as a youth named Sumit, died of a gunshot injury as the two sides traded fire. Police believe Sumit, an undergraduate student at a government college, was not part of the protest. He was said to be visiting the area to drop a friend when he got caught in the mob violence. A magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the incident.
The family of the youth has refused to conduct his last rites until the government assures it of Rs 50 lakh compensation, pension to parents and a police job to his kin. Sumit Kumar’s father Amarjeet Singh, 55, also demanded state funeral to his son as was accorded to Inspector Subodh Kumar, who was also killed in the mob violence Monday.
“We are on protest. We will not cremate the body until the government gives us a written assurance that it would grant us Rs 50 lakh compensation, pension and a job in the police department to Sumit’s elder brother Vineet,” Amarjeet Kumar said.
With PTI inputs