New Delhi: While the Uttar Pradesh police’s version of inspector Subodh Kumar Singh’s killing paints a picture of gruesome violence, the Bharatiya Janata Party seems intent on sticking to the line that his death was ‘accidental’.
According to the police FIR, Singh was attacked with stones, sticks and an axe before being shot dead. One of his fingers had been chopped off and he was hit on his head, according to an NDTV report. When he tried to escape, police said, Singh was dragged through fields and hit with sticks while his fellow officers tried to rescue him. When he was finally put in a jeep and taken towards a hospital, the mob pelted the vehicle with stones and even tried to set it on fire.
The police with Singh had to stop and disperse, and the inspector was shot at point-blank range. According to the post-mortem report, the bullet hit him above his eyebrow and he had several fractures on his arms and legs.
Singh was killed in Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh, while trying to stop an angry and violent mob protesting against alleged cow slaughter in the area. Four days after he was killed, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath said that Singh’s death had been “an accident”. Other BJP leaders, including MLAs, lent their support to people who had been accused of causing the violence and said that Singh and his team had been unsuccessful in stopping cow slaughter.
The post-mortem report and FIR do not seem to be enough to convince BJP leaders to change their tune. On Friday, BJP MLA from Kasganj Devendra Singh Lodhi claimed that the policeman died because he had “shot himself in haste while trying to save himself”.
Devendra Singh Lodhi, BJP MLA, on death of Inspector Subodh Kumar during #BulandshahrViolence: He became hopeless and shot himself in haste while trying to save himself. He was not targeted; it was a mob that got aggressive as the police was not filing an FIR. pic.twitter.com/XHBjgqkZmy
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) December 28, 2018
Lodhi’s statement came a day after the police arrested Prashant Natt, who allegedly pulled the trigger on Singh. The state police had earlier named Bajrang Dal activist Yogesh Raj as the prime suspect in the killing of inspector Singh. Raj, the police said, is still an accused in the case. According to NDTV, police had left Natt’s name out of the initial FRI by design, so that he does not flee.