Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live


- Sachin Saini and Suresh Foujdar letters@hindustant­imes.com

BHARATPUR/JAIPUR: The preliminar­y investigat­ion by the Rajasthan police in the murder of two Muslim men, whose remains were found inside a charred vehicle in Haryana’s Bhiwani district on Thursday, has pointed at cow vigilantis­m as the reason behind the crime, senior police officers said on Saturday.

During interrogat­ion, arrested accused Rinku Saini confirmed that a cow vigilante group had picked up Junaid (35) and Nasir (27) in a Mahindra Bolero, while denying his involvemen­t in the crime, a senior police officer familiar with the investigat­ion said.

Another official added that Rinku also alleged that after brutally assaulting the victims, the group took them to Firozpur Zhirka police station in Haryana, but officials refused to keep them. The Haryana police, however, had earlier denied the claim.

“He has also confirmed the role of some of the people named in the FIR (first informatio­n report). We are trying to verify his claims and are conducting our investigat­ion,” the senior official quoted above said. “The motive behind the crime is (cow) vigilantis­m. The arrested accused has also named some other, around 7-8 people, who picked up and beat them up (the two men).”

On Thursday, the charred bodies of Junaid and Nasir — both cousins — were found inside the four-wheeler in Bhiwani district. The families of the deceased, both residents of Ghatmika village in Rajasthan’s Bharatpur district, alleged that they were beaten and murdered by members of the Bajrang Dal, a claim rejected by the Hindu right-wing outfit.

On Saturday, the Rajasthan police produced Rinku Saini (32), a taxi driver from Firojpur Zirka in Haryana’s Nuh district, before the Bharatpur court, which sent him to five-day police custody in connection with the twin murder. Inspector General of Police, Bharatpur range, Gaurav Srivastav said, “Further investigat­ion is on.”

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