New Delhi: Cow vigilante Monu Manesar was arrested on Tuesday, September 12, by special investigation officers of the Haryana Police probing the communal violence in Nuh, the Times of India reported.
TOI added that a senior officer acknowledged his role in instigating the violence, due to which six people died and close to 100 were injured.
“To our information, he is the one who had put an instigating video on July 28, ahead of [the] yatra,” the unnamed officer said.
The Indian Express reported that Manesar was arrested for uploading “objectionable and inflammatory” posts on social media under a pseudonym.
Sources told IE that following an investigation conducted on social media by the Nuh police after the violence, a location Manesar was at was raided after he was found to have uploaded “a series of objectionable posts”.
One particular video of Manesar exhorting people to attend the Vishva Hindu Parishad’s (VHP) jalabishek yatra on July 31 and claiming he would attend it himself is often cited as the trigger for the communal clashes.
The yatra was to pass through southern Haryana’s Nuh district – the state’s only one with a Muslim majority – where Manesar is an unpopular name due to his cow vigilantism.
He is also a regional leader in the Bajrang Dal, which is the VHP’s youth wing.
In February this year, Manesar was booked by the Rajasthan Police for his alleged involvement in the deaths of two men named Junaid and Nasir, whose charred bodies were found near the state’s border with Haryana.
This is said to have happened after accusations of cow smuggling were made against the two men.
Authorities in both Rajasthan and Haryana have said in the past that they did not know Manesar’s whereabouts, although he has appeared in multiple videos on social media since February.
IE reported that his transfer to the Rajasthan Police from their Haryana counterparts will depend on court orders.
The VHP confirmed Manesar’s arrest to The Hindu and called it “unfortunate”, adding that instead of arresting the “real culprits” behind the violence – among whom they claimed was Congress leader Mamman Khan – the Haryana Police arrested Manesar in order to “hide its failure” in investigating the riots.
PTI posted a CCTV video that it said was of Manesar being taken into custody by plainclothes policemen on X (formerly Twitter).
CCTV captures cow vigilante Monu Manesar’s arrest by the Haryana Police in Manesar. pic.twitter.com/PTcGnGYFIN
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) September 12, 2023