Shikhar Agrawal had claimed that inspector Subodh Kumar Singh, who died in the Bulandshahr violence, threatened to kill him.
Lucknow: A 26-year-old man who claims to be a local leader of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, the BJP’s youth wing, was arrested Thursday morning for his alleged role in last year’s violence in Bulandshahr, which led to the death of a policeman and a college student.
The accused has been identified as Shikhar Agrawal.
While police said that Agrawal was not behind the murder of inspector Subodh Kumar Singh during the 3 December violence, he was allegedly involved in inciting the mob, which was protesting against suspected cow slaughter in a nearby village, Mahav.
“Shikhar Agrawal was arrested after we received intelligence inputs about his presence near the Hapur Bulandshahr bypass bridge,” said an official statement from the Bulandshahr senior superintendent of police.
“He was arrested from under the bridge. With his arrest, a total of 36 accused involved in the incident are now in custody and efforts to nab the others are underway,” the statement added.
According to police sources, Agrawal was among those who had assembled in the fields at Mahav after a cattle carcass was discovered there on the morning of 3 December.
A police officer said Agrawal was called to the spot by Yogesh Raj, a Bajrang Dal leader who was recently arrested for his alleged involvement in the violence.
“While Yogesh Raj was the first person who got information about the cow carcass, Agrawal was one of the few men that Raj called to the spot,” the officer added. “The group had then reached the Chingrawathi police chowki and staged a protest.”
The investigation so far suggests Agrawal is not a history-sheeter, police said. “There are no past cases against him,” the officer said. “But the investigation is still undergoing and more details will come forward during his questioning.”
His video testimony
Like Raj, Agrawal had also released a video message proclaiming his innocence after police named him as an accused.
In the video, he admitted that he was a part of the group that had picked up the cow carcass from Mahav to take it to the Chingrawathi police chowki, but added that “shaheed” inspector Singh had stopped them on the way and directed them not to go ahead. According to Agrawal, Singh had also “directly threatened to kill” him and “whoever comes with you”.
However, he added, they managed to make their way to the police chowki, where he approached the subdivisional magistrate with complaints about the alleged cow slaughter and Singh’s conduct.
“[Then] I left from there,” Agrawal claimed.
Police, however, said they had evidence to suggest Agrawal didn’t leave the police chowki premises, the epicentre of the violence, just then.
“We have enough evidence in the form of footage and eyewitness accounts to prove that both of them [he and Raj] were present at the spot,” a police officer told ThePrint.