New Delhi: Rajasthan police has named Bajrang Dal leader Monu Manesar and 20 others in the double murder of two Muslim men in Haryana on cow smuggling suspicions in mid-February, reports say.
The brutal killing of Junaid and Nasir had led to countrywide outrage and propelled Manesar, who already had a huge following on social media as a Hindutva leader espousing violence against Muslims, into headlines. Amidst outrage, YouTube announced that Manesar’s channel had been “indefinitely suspended” from its “YouTube Partner Program,” which meant that he could no longer make money from the videos he posts.
Junaid and Nasir were cousins and lived in Ghatmeeka village of Rajasthan, where protests took place for weeks afterwards, calling for justice. The two were allegedly attacked and abducted by a mob that later set them ablaze, alive while they were inside their car, after accusations of cow smuggling were made against them.
The two men were killed at Bhiwani, under the jurisdiction of Haryana Police, who were accused of going light on Manesar. Hindutva groups also mobilised across Haryana in support of Monu Manesar, and issued threats to police against arresting him. Three of the accused in the Haryana Police’s investigation into the case – Rinku Saini, Lokesh Singla and Shrikant – are noted police informers.
On Sunday, May 21, police in Rajasthan – the state which was home to Junaid and Nasir – announced that they had named 21 people as accused in the first information report.
“All of them are accused of destroying evidence and providing financial help and shelter as well as guiding others to abscond,” Bharatpur superintendent of police (SP) Shyam Singh said, according to Hindustan Times.