New Delhi: The final of the prime accused in the Bulandshahr violence case – which resulted in the murder of Uttar Pradesh policeman Subodh Kumar Singh and a local youth in early December – was taken into custody from state’s Hapur region early on Thursday.
According to Times of India, BJP youth-wing leader Shikhar Agarwal was last of the prime accused in the case. Police officials said that he was involved in instigating the crowd that resulted in clashes and the two killings on December 3.
The mob had been protesting against an alleged incident of cow slaughter in Bulandshahr, a town in the western Uttar Pradesh’s sugarcane belt.
“He was arrested this morning. We are interrogating him and produce him in the local court later today,” additional superintendent of police (Bulandhshahr city) Atul Kumar Srivastava told PTI.
The Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) leader, officials said, has been on the run since the violence broke out in Siyana tehsil of the district. During this time, Agarwal has been uploading videos on social media claiming innocence.
In a video uploaded on December 6, he blamed the slain inspector Singh for his own death, saying his resistance to file an FIR about the alleged cow slaughter led to the violence. Agarwal further said that the policeman was present for the entire series of events and had created tension in the public over the cow carcasses. Calling him corrupt, the BJYM leader said Singh had colluded with Muslims to inflict violence on the cows.
In the video, Agarwal further claimed that the inspector had threatened to kill him and his aides – which he later even conveyed to ADG Avinash Chandra Maurya.
With the arrest of Agarwal, the total number of accused held in the case has gone up to 35, including the key ones – Bajrang Dal leader Yogesh Raj, Prashant Natt, who police say shot and killed Singh and Kalua – who had attacked the policeman with an axe, cut off his fingers and wounded him on the head.
While the police have recovered the axe, Subodh Singh’s pistol – which was used to kill him – is yet to be recovered.
The Wire earlier reported that an FIR against 27 named people and 50-60 unidentified people was registered at the Siyana police station for the violence at the Chingrawathi police post after cattle carcasses were found strewn outside nearby Mahaw village.
During the early phase of the investigation of the mob violence, the state police had come under fire for shifting the focus to probing allegations of cow slaughter.