Botched game plan

FrontLine - - COMMUNALISM - BY DIVYA TRIVEDI

The Bu­land­shahr vi­o­lence in Ut­tar Pradesh, in which a po­lice of­fi­cer was killed, sug­gests that the pol­i­tics of com­mu­nal po­lar­i­sa­tion through

vi­o­lence and ri­ot­ing was at play be­hind the in­ci­dent.

THE mur­der of Su­bodh Ku­mar Singh, a po­lice of­fi­cer, on De­cem­ber 3 in Bu­land­shahr dis­trict of Ut­tar Pradesh dur­ing mob vi­o­lence over an al­leged case of cow slaugh­ter sent shock waves across the State, in­clud­ing among Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sup­port­ers. Su­mit, a young­ster who was later iden­ti­fied in videos as one of the stone pel­ters, was also shot dead. The in­ci­dents that fol­lowed have shown how the mon­ster of fas­cism has ma­tured in In­dia and started devouring its own ad­her­ents.

While Hin­dus have also been vic­timised in the past in cow-re­lated in­ci­dents, this is the first time a mem­ber of the po­lice force lost his life in such tar­geted vi­o­lence. The 47-year-old of­fi­cer’s son, Abhishek Singh, con­demned the mur­der and told re­porters: “My fa­ther lost his life in this Hindu-mus­lim dis­pute. Whose fa­ther is next?”

Chief Min­is­ter Yogi Adityanath was re­port­edly watch­ing a soun­dand-light show when the in­ci­dent took place. While he or­dered a probe into the al­leged cow slaugh­ter, he made cal­lous state­ments re­gard­ing the of­fi­cer’s death and called it an ac­ci­dent and not a case of lynching.

On the morn­ing of De­cem­ber 3, as Ra­jku­mar was sit­ting in his dairy in Ma­hav vil­lage, he re­ceived a call that cow car­casses had been found on his field, which is at the end of the road from the vil­lage and in the cen­tre of a Jat-dom­i­nated area. With the on­set of the har­vest sea­son, farm­ers were often out in their fields, and Ra­jku­mar had been in his field just the night be­fore. He had seen noth­ing sus­pi­cious, his wife, Priti, told Front­line. Im­me­di­ately upon reach­ing his field that morn­ing, Ra­jku­mar in­formed the po­lice, who ad­vised the farm­ers to bury the re­mains and keep the peace. A po­lice­man who was present on the spot told Front­line that the scene ap­peared set up. The skin was hung up on the sug­ar­cane crop as if on dis­play and the heads were scat­tered in var­i­ous di­rec­tions. The slaugh­ter of 20-25 cows (the num­ber claimed by the Ba­jrang Dal) would have led to a lot of blood be­ing spilled on the fields, but there was not nuch blood there. This was cor­rob­o­rated by women of Ma­hav

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