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Bulandshahr Barbarism: Is there any Solution beyond Sympathies?

Uttar Pradesh is known for its lawlessness, be it BJP or SP, there is no deterrence for the law as most of the time crime is committed in the shadow of the powerful politicians and police has a very limited role in such violence. Most of the cops are doormats of power corridors; they do not have any powers to execute their duties independently. The Bulandshahr tragedy is one of the horrible sagas in such episodes. The first-hand accounts of the eyewitnesses of this tragedy point towards a pre-planned attempt at spreading communal tension. The rumours were spread about slaughtering of cattle, whereas that was just a plot to trap a cop. Soon after the rumours spread, a violent mob gathered at the spot attacking police. A clash between the police and the villagers of Mahaw after a mob turned violent resulted in the death of station house officer (SHO) Subodh Kumar Singh and a youngster. The autopsy report of the SHO revealed that he was shot in the head. He was hit with a 32 bore bullet near his left eyebrow. Sumit, 20, breathed his last after coming in the way of police’s retaliatory firing. The sequence of events that led to the clash, however, is too interconnected to be all but a coincidence.

Dead cow meat was hanging in a sugarcane field. Head and skin of a cow were hanging as if they are clothes on a hanger. It was really strange because anybody who would indulge in cow slaughter would not put it out for display knowing the situation in the state. It was visible from far away. The Tehsildar said that as soon as the news of dead meat spread, members of Hindu Yuva Vahini, Shiv Sena, and Bajrang Dal appeared on the spot and started agitating. The crowd then loaded the carcass on a tractor and tried to take it towards Bulandshahr-Garhmukteshwar State Highway to protest. The location and timing further fuels the suspicion that it was a planned attempt to stoke tension as nearly 10 lakh Muslim devotees had gathered in Bulandshahr to pray on Monday as it was the last day of  Ijtema, an essential part of the Tablighi Jamaat. The devotees were also supposed to take the Bulandshahr-Garhmukteshwar State Highway to return the very day. Back in Mahaw, the state-officers and the local police stood in front of the tractor and requested the mob to calm down. They wanted the matter to end in the village itself. However, the crowd did not budge. Almost a hundred men in tractors reached Chingravati police post on the highway. The crowd soon multiplied in size. The police tried to reason with them and questioned them to register an FIR, but the mob turned violent. Meanwhile, one of the villagers residing very close to the field where the carcass was found said that he did not see any cow meat on the preceding day. He lives right opposite the field. There was no dead meat during the previous day. It was only on Monday when the villagers saw these things. Also, they didn’t see anybody cutting the meat.

Subodh Kumar Singh was an investigating officer of the infamous Dadri lynching case in which a man named Akhlaq was killed by a mob in 2015 for allegedly storing and consuming beef.

The angry villagers and the members of various Hindu groups brought the animal remains in tractor-trolley. The activist of a prominent right-wing organisation is “Accused No. 1” in the frightening murder of the police officer by a mob that chased his car and shot him in violence over the slaughter of 25 cows. Yogesh Raj, the main accused, is a member of the Bajrang Dal. He was the man who had filed a complaint about cow slaughter after 25 carcasses were found in the forests in the area. Four people have been arrested so far. Two separate FIRs were filed — one in the violence leading to the two deaths and the other in the alleged cow slaughter case. The second FIR was filed by a sub-inspector a couple of hours later, and in this Raj is named as Accused No. 1. This FIR lists 28 people who have been booked under the charges of murder, sedition, rioting, arson, assaulting a public servant who is on duty among others. The crowd pelted stones, sticks, and illegal weapons to attack the police team and during this, the SHO was injured.

Subodh Kumar Singh joined the Uttar Pradesh Police in 1994 and after that, he was posted in UP from Bundelkhand to western Uttar Pradesh. Subodh Kumar was a resident of Pargwa, a village under the Jethra police station of Etah district. The Inspector was posted in Jhansi, Muzaffarnagar, Saharanpur, Meerut, Ghaziabad, and Noida and his last posting was in the Syana Police Station of Bulandshahr. While being in charge of Mathura’s Vrindavan, Subodh Kumar conducted an encounter with the miscreants on January 23, 2016, where he received a bullet injury on his hand. The cop is survived by two children and a wife. The brutal killing of cop hit the headlines and some right-wing supporters justified this killing on social media in the name of Cow, and other condemned; however, no one has solutions or any control over such barbaric act.

Finally, to cover the incidence, Chief minister Yogi Adityanath announced Rs 50 lakh assistance to the family members of Subodh Kumar Singh. The government also promised a job to a family member as well as “extraordinary” pension for the dependent family members. The Uttar Pradesh Police condoled Singh’s death and said that he “sacrificed his life” to uphold law and order in the district. With his demise, we have lost one of our finest officers who will always be alive in our hearts as our Hero. Our condolences for his family members and prayers for his noble soul, because they know nothing can be done beyond sympathies.

In India, where cows are venerated by a large segment of the population, cow vigilante violence involving mob attacks in the name of “cow protection” targeting mostly the Muslims, has swelled since 2014. Cattle slaughter is banned in most states of India. Recently emerged cow vigilante groups, claiming to be protecting cattle, have been violent leading to a number of deaths. Cow-protection groups see themselves as preventing theft, protecting the cow or upholding the law in an Indian state which bans cow slaughter. So far in the name of Cow and under BJP rule, 32 Indians – 24 of them Muslims – were killed and 124 injured. Many vigilante groups feel “empowered” by the victory of the Hindu nationalist BJP in the 2014 election. The Supreme Court of India in September 2017 ruled that each state should appoint a police officer in each district as the Nodal Officer to take strict action against cow vigilantism, but unfortunately, these police officers are strategically eliminated.

(Any suggestions, comments or dispute with regards to this article send us on [email protected])


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Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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