Army jawan held over UP cop death, axe falls on SSP

The Asian Age - - Front Page - AGE COR­RE­SPON­DENTS

Jeetu Fauji is be­lieved to have told his unit that he had gone to the po­lice sta­tion to lodge an FIR over the re­cov­ery of cow car­casses, but since vi­o­lence broke out he ran away, much be­fore the cop was shot dead

The UP CM had said on Fri­day that there was no mob lynch­ing in UP. ‘ The Bu­land­shahr in­ci­dent was an ac­ci­dent, and the law is tak­ing its course. No cul­prit will be spared,’ he said.

Ji­ten­dra Ma­lik alias Jeetu Fauji, an Army jawan sus­pected of killing in­spec­tor Su­bodh Ku­mar Singh dur­ing Bu­land­shahr vi­o­lence, has been ar­rested by Ut­tar Pradesh po­lice from Jammu and Kash­mir and is be­ing brought to his home state for ques­tion­ing, of­fi­cials said on Satur­day.

Ma­lik, who has claimed in­no­cence, was taken into cus­tody from a camp of the Army’s 22 Rashtriya Ri­fles in So­pore, about 50 km north­west of Jammu, they said.

The ar­rest co­in­cided with Ut­tar Pradesh govern­ment trans­fer­ring Bu­land­shahr se­nior su­per­in­ten­dent of po­lice ( SSP) Krishna Ba­hadur Singh over de­lay in po­lice ac­tion to con­tain the De­cem­ber 3 vi­o­lence.

The po­lice has named 27 ac­cused, in­clud­ing Mr Ma­lik, in the FIR over In­spec­tor’s mur­der. Nine peo­ple, in­clud­ing some Ba­jrang Dal work­ers, have been ar­rested so for for a sep­a­rate case filed on mob vi­o­lence. Bu­land­shahr con­venor of Ba­jrang Dal, Yo­gesh Raj, the main ac­cused in the mob vi­o­lence, had gone un­der­ground and is­sued a video claim­ing in­no­cence.

On De­cem­ber 3, Singh and a 22- year- old stu­dent, Su­mit Ku­mar, were killed in the vi­o­lence ap­par­ently af­ter cow car­casses were found strewn in a nearby jungle. A spe­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tion team’s ( SIT) re­port sug­gested that both of them were shot dead with the same bore (. 32) pis­tol.

Sources said the UP po­lice is in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether Ma­lik fired the shot that killed the po­lice of­fi­cer. In one of the mo­bile videos, ap­par­ently made by ri­ot­ers, the slain po­lice of­fi­cer is seen with a man re­sem­bling Ma­lik around the time he was killed.

Ma­lik is be­lieved to have told his unit that he along with 30 oth­ers had gone to the po­lice sta­tion to lodge an FIR over the re­cov­ery of cow car­casses near their vil­lage but since vi­o­lence broke out there he ran away, much be­fore the in­spec­tor was shot dead.

The Army jawan’s fam­ily mem­bers have con­firmed that he was in the vil­lage on the day of the vi­o­lence and went back to Kash­mir the same evening. His mother Ratan Kaur, how­ever, said she could not iden­tify her son in­videos of the mob at­tack.

Mean­while, Ut­tar Pradesh chief min­is­ter Yogi Adityanath, on Satur­day re­moved Bu­land­shahr SSP K. B. Singh, along with Syana Cir­cle Of­fi­cer Satya Prakash Sharma and Chin­grawati chowki in­charge Suresh Ku­mar, for dere­lic­tion of duty. Si­ta­pur SSP Prab­hakar Chaud­hury took over as the new SSP of Bu­land­shahr. Ac­tion against the of­fi­cials was taken af­ter an in­ter­nal po­lice re­port in­dicted Bu­land­shahr SSP for tak­ing three hours to reach the spot of mob vi­o­lence. He also failed to send ad­di­tional forces to the spot.

Mr Singh also did not in­form the home depart­ment in Luc­know about the pres­ence of large num­ber of Mus­lims for the three- day re­li­gious con­gre­ga­tion in the district which con­cluded on the day of vi­o­lence.

The Congress slammed Mr Adityanath for terming the killing of the po­lice in­spec­tor in Bu­land­shahr mob vi­o­lence an “ac­ci­dent”.

“There has been no in­ci­dent of mob lynch­ing in Ut­tar Pradesh. The Bu­land­shahr in­ci­dent was an ac­ci­dent and the law is tak­ing its course. No guilty will be spared,” Mr Adityanath said Fri­day at an event in the na­tional cap­i­tal.

Congress spokesper­son Ab­hishek Manu Singhvi al­leged that the Ut­tar Pradesh govern­ment was try­ing to in­flu­ence the probe.

“The whole ob­jec­tive of this is to de­rail an in­de­pen­dent, im­par­tial in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the case,” he said.

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