Uttar Pradesh police on Tuesday produced a 25-year old unemployed youth before the media and claimed that he was the one who had first hit Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh with an axe, following which another accused, Prashant Nutt, snatched the inspector’s own pistol and shot him dead.
Police claimed to have arrested ‘Kalua’ on Tuesday morning. They had earlier arrested Natt and an Indian armyman, who is accused of instigating a mob of 400 to attack the inspector. Another accused, a member of the right-wing Bajrang Dal, however is still absconding.
The inspector was killed on December 3 at Bulandshahr when he was trying to pacify the mob, which was agitating after allegedly discovering a number of slaughtered cows outside a village. The inspector exhorted them to bury the animals, claimed ‘Kalua’ to mediamen. This infuriated him and he claimed to have attacked the inspector in a fit of rage.
The inspector had reached the spot after receiving reports of the mob getting restive. But the mob set upon him and Kalua claims to have hit him with his axe, severing some of his fingers when the inspector tried to ward off the blow.
When the inspector doubled up in pain, Kalua dealt another blow to his shoulder. The blows made it easier for Prashant Natt to snatch the inspector’s pistol and shoot him on his face.
At least this is what Kalua has told the police. But while the police do have video clips which show Kalua using his axe to fell branches of a tree in order to put up a road block, there is no video clip that shows the 25-year old hacking the inspector. Police, however, claim to have recovered the axe used to hack the inspector.
The sequence described by Kalua is also not borne out by the photograph which had gone viral after the killing of the inspector. In the photograph, the deceased inspector is seen slumped next to his jeep on the driver’s side. He was lying upside down with his head almost touching the ground while his lower limbs seemed trapped inside the jeep.
But if Kalua’s confession and police claims are to be believed, the inspector was chased before being axed and killed. He told the police that the inspector, injured in stone pelting by the violent mob, had tried to run to the fields for protection.
However, police claim that Kalua’s version is supported by an eyewitness, Mukesh Kumar.
It is unlikely that Kalua will stick to the statement before the court. Nor can the possibility be ruled out that he gave the statement under duress.
As many as 30 named accused have been arrested so far for the inspector’s killing and eight for cow slaughter.