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Bulandshahr focus shifts from Hindu vigilantism to cows or is Yogi following due process?

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Police inspector Subodh Kumar Singh was killed by a mob in Bulandshahr after protests over alleged cow slaughter turned violent. At a review meeting Tuesday night, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath ordered a probe into the cow slaughter allegations, with no word on the mob violence. In a bid to control damage, a fresh statement issued Wednesday said the CM would meet the family of the officer.

ThePrint asks: Bulandshahr focus shifts from Hindu vigilantism to cows or is Yogi following due process?

Both cow slaughter and mob violence are crimes and need to be looked into

Prashant Kumar
ADG, Meerut

The government as well as the police decided that an SIT will be constituted to look into all the matters pertaining to this. So far, two FIRs filed have been filed — one for alleged cow slaughter, and the other is regarding the death of Sumit and police inspector Subodh Kumar.

I think it is unfair to say that there is any shifting of emphasis from mob violence to cow slaughter. Both are crimes and need to be looked into. Many names have been mentioned in the cow slaughter case, but no one’s been arrested so far. If we find that there isn’t enough evidence against one, then we will of course not arrest them. As far as the mob violence case is concerned, we have arrested three people so far. Yogesh Raj of the Bajrang Dal is currently evading arrest. We need to understand that in both cases, there are chances that people have been wrongly accused.

The efforts and intention of the police should not be doubted. There are plenty of rumours and conspiracy theories making the rounds, but SIT is generally not amenable to any external influences. We should trust them enough that they will conduct an honest investigation in both cases.

Both Hindu vigilantism and cow protection essentially otherise and demonise Muslims

Arshad Alam
Independent Political Researcher, Delhi

Both Hindu vigilantism and cow protection essentially otherise and demonise Muslims. CM Yogi Adityanath has been the harbinger of Hindu vigilantism in the state. His Hindu Yuva Vahini terrorised Muslim youths who were often falsely accused of ‘love jihad’. With impunity, they could barge into any private space and beat up young couples, especially when the boy happened to a Muslim. The whole episode used to be filmed and circulated on social media to humiliate Muslims and also as a masculine marker of Hindu victory.

Cow protection also serves the same purpose. Since Muslims do not revere the animal, they can always be accused of eating beef. And what would be a more opportune time than when lakhs of Muslims have gathered in Bulandshahr for a religious congregation?

Let us not fool ourselves with the arrests that have so far been made in the case. Ministers of the Yogi government have already started defending the Bajrang Dal. Had Muslims been killed in this incident, the whole narrative of the government would be different. What due process are we talking about when among those questioned are minor Muslim boys aged 11 and 12? As the election season approaches, cows will become all the more important for Yogi government for one express purpose alone: to target Muslims.

Inspector Subodh Kumar attained martyrdom by giving up his life for the peace of Bulandshahr

Chandra Mohan
BJP UP spokesperson

The unfortunate incident that took place in Bulandshahr is condemnable. Inspector Subodh Kumar attained martyrdom by giving up his life for the peace of Bulandshahr. He has our respects.

Whatever we know so far, through reports and government sources, is that this was a conspiracy hatched by opposition forces.

That very day, a large Ijtema procession was out on the streets and the police did an excellent job in ensuring peace and harmony throughout the day. But right after that, carcasses were found in the fields, hinting foul play.

Bulandshahr has always been a peace-loving district. It is a land of cow-worshipers and cow-lovers. But anti-social elements from outside Bulandshahr are now trying to disrupt the peace by slaughtering gau mata.

It is hard to not suspect opposition involvement in whatever panned out that day. Yogi Adityanath’s work has been immensely appreciated by everyone in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The opposition began to realise that he is becoming an extremely popular and loved politician, this made them insecure.

The SIT reports will tell us more conclusively who is behind all of this. Our government has been committed to completely stop cow slaughter in UP, and we will continue to work towards it.

Evidence points to the targeted killing of inspector Subodh Kumar in Bulandshahr

S.R. Darapuri
Retired I.P.S officer

The Bajrang Dal, VHP and the likes are all protected by the current BJP government, and this is what enables them to kill anyone with impunity — including police officers. Manipulation and planting of carcasses are all ploys employed by them to polarise the country, one district at a time.

The primary accused in the mob violence, Yogesh Raj, the district convener of Bajrang Dal was the first to file a complaint in the alleged cow slaughter case. He claimed that he was walking around with his friends when he came across the carcass hanging in a sugarcane field. How was he walking around in a random area he doesn’t even belong to?

Moreover, the man working in the neighbouring field said he never saw any such carcass. This makes the cow slaughter claim highly dubious.

There are also attempts to make it a communal issue when it absolutely isn’t. There are no Muslims living near the field where this cow carcass was allegedly found. I think it is entirely possible that Yogesh Raj is behind the planting of a carcass, with the sole purpose of causing a riot in the area.

The carcass was deliberately brought in the middle of the road through which an Ijtema procession was supposed to pass, in order to stoke tension between the two communities. Now we are learning that the same 0.32 mm bore bullet was found to have killed both police inspector Subodh Kumar as well as Sumit, a civilian, who was caught in the violence.

Most importantly, in the audio recording from the killing of Subodh Kumar, the mob can be heard saying “Yeh wohi hai! (This is him)”. Isn’t this enough to confirm that this was a targeted killing? Especially, given how it was this very inspector investigating the Dadri lynching.

If the cow killers had been nabbed sooner, the mob violence in Bulandshahr wouldn’t have taken place

Vinod Bansal
National Spokesperson, VHP

It is an undeniable fact that it was the alleged cow slaughter that provoked mob violence. Bajrang Dal leader Yogesh Raj filed an FIR immediately after seeing the cows being slaughtered and even named seven people. It was an hour after the FIR being filed and no action being taken by the police that the gau bhakts took to the streets with the carcass.

Now, it’s been over 48 hours but those jihadi elements behind the cow slaughter have still not been arrested. Why? This shows police incompetency and inactivity. You can’t blame the villagers for holding a demonstration with the carcass, it is their faith in the cow that led them to do so. But the police responded by attacking them.

Now false allegations have been levelled against gau bhakts. For us, the death of Subodh Kumar and Sumit are at par with the slaughtering of a cow. Both the incidents pain us equally. But if the cow slaughterers had been nabbed sooner, the mob violence wouldn’t have taken place, to begin with.

Now, to cover their complete failure, the police is falsely implicating Yogesh Raj, who was the first complainant against the cow slaughtering. He should most definitely not be held responsible for any violence.

Bulandshahr violence is BJP’s Plan C. Plans A and B have bombed

Shivam Vij
Contributing editor, ThePrint

The ruling BJP government in Uttar Pradesh is responsible for the Bulandshahr violence not just by virtue of being in power, but also since the groups responsible for the violence are its sister organisations. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Bajrang Dal are part of the larger Sangh Parivar that includes the BJP.

Recent attempts to polarise Hindu voters against Muslims have proved to be a damp squib. The BJP’s standard trick of earning Hindu votes by making them loathe Muslims hasn’t been working. Religious polarisation for votes has reached its limits. Whether it is Ram Mandir or the National Register of Citizens in Assam or the draconian tripe talaq ordinance – nothing is working. Hindu voters are asking questions about farm issues and unemployment, rural wage growth and ‘achhe din’.

The violence in Bulandshahr – including the targeted assassination of a police inspector – seems to be a carefully planned conspiracy by the militant elements of the Sangh Parivar to raise the bar for religious polarisation at a time when the BJP is having a tough time in state elections. Violence and bloodshed, history is witness, cannot be ignored. Violence will satisfy the bloodlust of some and induce horror in others – making sure everyone talks about it. Polarisation is inevitable.

The Bulandshahr violence is the BJP’s Plan C. Plans A and B, namely demonetisation and reviving Ram Mandir issue, have bombed. Plan C reeks of desperation. Violence will help the BJP retain its unenthused core voters, but not win the floating vote that’s still asking questions over unemployment and rural distress.

By Fatima Khan, journalist at ThePrint. You can follow her on twitter @khanthefatima.

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  1. In my opinion, cow was not the issue at all in this incident. This was out and out a conspiracy to kill Inspector Subodh.

  2. I stand corrected. CM has expressed sadness over the loss of life and announced financial relief for the Singh family, will also be meeting them in Lucknow.

  3. Beef is legal in Goa and the north east, so there is a certain lack of consistency in making it such a life and death issue in the Hindi heartland. There can never be a moral equivalence between killing a human being – in this case a conscientious police officer on duty – and an animal that will end its days filling its stomach with plastic bags. At least in cases of lynching, the singular focus of the police should be on investigating the murder, not allowing themselves to be distracted by gau hatya. 2. Deeply saddening that CM Bisht has not offered condolences to the bereaved Singh family, let alone visiting them. There has been a similar lack of remorse when children have died in the hospital in Gorakhpur or other instances of loss of life due to the inadequacies of the administration. Not the way a saint or deeply religious person would be expected to behave.

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