Bulandshahr: Was there more than what meets the eye?

A leader of the right-wing group Bajrang Dal was among the three people arrested in connection with the violence and the police has named more than 28 people in the FIR

NH Photo
NH Photo

Aas Mohd Kaif

On December 4, 2018, at 9 am, Siyana Kotwali’s police inspector Subodh Kumar Rathore received a phone call from a former head of Mahab village, informing him that there is a carcass of cow lying in a field.

This village is 5 km from Siyana, which is 40 km away from the Bulandshahr district headquarters. Kumar reached on the spot immediately. He saw that there were remains of two or three animals in the field. If police sources are to believed then it was not immediately clear whether if they were cow carcasses. Around 10 am, Subodh Kumar gave this information to the senior officials.

Some Bajrang Dal activists present there said that they were roaming in the forests and they found the remains. In the report filed by Bajrang Dal's district convenor, it was mentioned that he was accompanied by some of his colleagues and they were roaming in the forests at 9 am.

In the latest development, a leader of the right-wing group Bajrang Dal was among the three people arrested in connection with the violence over an incident of alleged cow slaughter in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr district that led to the death of two men, including that of a police inspector, officials said on Tuesday, December 4.

Syana Police have registered a case of murder and rioting against villagers after the violence in Mahav village on Monday. Police had named 28 people, including Yogesh Raj, convenor of Bajrang Dal in Bulandshahr, who had earlier lodged a complaint alleging cow slaughter, from nearby villages and 60 are unidentified.

So, he was roaming in forest before 9 am and after that he told the former village head about the carcass, who then informed the police. The question which arises is that did the Bajrang Dal members know in the night itself about the cow slaughter in the forest. If that was the case, then why they did they not give the information to the police in the night!

Soon after the police arrived, the Bajrang Dal started mobilising a crowd from nearby villages. The crowd became violent at 10 am. The workers of Bajrang Dal took the alleged remains of the cattle on a tractor and blocked the main road to the Siyana. The route is connected to Moradabad and Bareli Marg and there was a lot of vehicular traffic on the road.

The number of police officials at the closest Chirangavati police post was few. Inspector Subodh Kumar was constantly trying to convince these young people but there was a lot of anger among the youths. The traffic remained still for more than an hour and the police diverted a religious gathering which was enroute to Siyana. The police attempted to disperse the crowd were successful in that. By then, the Siyana circle officer SP Sharma reached the spot.

The agitating people demanded that an FIR be filed and immediate arrests be made. In order to control the situation, the police officials attempted to obtain the cow carcass. This incited the mob and they got violent. They started pelted stones at the police officers. The police opened fire in the air, the mob opened fire at the police.

The police then had to escape to save their lives and in the ensuing melee Siyana police officer Subodh Kumar Rathore was shot in the eye.

Subodh Kumar's colleagues say that some of the members of the mob were convinced, but there were a few who simply wanted violence. It was as though they were being instructed by someone.

The question which arises is that when the police had accepted the demand of the protesters, then why did they instigate violence again. Was it an attempt to disrupt the tabliegh-e-Jamaat's Ijtima, which being organised 45 kilometers away!

In some videos of violence which are being shared widely on social media, it can be seen that inspector Subodh had fallen from his car after being shot and a person is abusing him. Even the mobile phone of the police officer is missing.

Inspector Subodh Rathore died at 2 pm. Even after this the violence continued, nearly 20 vehicles were burnt and the police station was set on fire.

Subodh was known for his bravery in the police department. He was investigating the murder of Akhlaq by a mob. He had carried out a very fair and thorough investigation. Bullets were shot in the violence here too in which Hindu youth worker, Rahul Yadav was killed. In this case, a magistrate investigation was going on against Subodh Kumar.

Clearly, he was an eye sore for the Hindu fundamentalists. Now the question arises whether the murder of the Inspector was a part of a planned conspiracy and was there a conspiracy to provoke the crowd against the Muslim procession that was set to pass.

Did a brave inspector stop a violent incident by giving up his life?

Siyana is one of the largest towns of Bulandshahr district and it has a history of Hindu-Muslim unity. Last time, Dilnawaz Khan was the MLA from here and now BJP's Devendra Singh Lodhi represents the Siyana in the Legislative Assembly of Uttar Pradesh. Local residents believe that ever since the BJP legislator has been elected, orthodox Hinduism has been boiling over. There is a 60:40 ratio of Hindu-Muslim population in Siyana. In the last few days, Hindus and Muslims were welcoming the people going to Ijtima together. Food was being organised to them, just like how the Muslims had served the devotees of Bhole baba during the last Kanwar yatra.

The organiser of the bhandara, Arvind Sharma said that he along with his friends had organised the food for 50,000 people. In the history of Siyana, there has been no communal violence. In the recently-organised Ramlila, both Muslims and Hindus hda cooperated. The doors of a Shiv temple were opened in the Bulandshahr for the people who were going to participate in Ijtima to let Muslims offer Namaz; the police had also made adequate arrangements.

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Published: 4 Dec 2018, 12:56 PM