Lucknow: Army jawan Jitendra Malik alias Jeetu Fauji, who was arrested for his alleged involvement in the killing of a police inspector during mob violence in Bulandshahr, was on Sunday sent to jail for 14 days, even as he denied his role in the incident and claimed he was being framed.
The Army handed over Malik to the UP Task Force late on Sunday night. “He has accepted that he was there when the crowd started gathering. Prima facie, it has been found true. It's not yet ascertained if he is the one who shot the inspector. He said he went there with villagers, but denied pelting stones on the police. Forensic examination of his mobile phone will be done,” said SSP Abhishek Singh, who is part of the STF.
"I am not an absconder. I haven't done anything wrong. I am being framed," Malik was quoted as saying by ANI.
The Uttar Pradesh government also moved out an additional superintendent of police, the fourth police official to be shunted out in the last two days. UP DGP OP Singh said the situation in the district was peaceful now. "Peaceful atmosphere prevails in Bulandshahr. Law and order is good," he told reporters in Shirdi.
Malik was interrogated by the crime branch during the day and also questioned by the Special Investigation Team constituted by the Uttar Pradesh government to probe the incident, the city Superintendent of Police (Crime) said.
Earlier in the day, the UP government transferred Raees Akhtar, who was posted as additional superintendent of police (rural) in Bulandshahr, six days after two people died in mob violence in the district following an alleged cow slaughter incident. In a statement issued here, Principal Secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar said Akhtar has been transferred to PAC Headquarters in Lucknow.
Manish Mishra, posted as additional superintendent of police at modern control room, Ghaziabad, has been made the new ASP (rural) of Bulandshahr.
Malik, suspected to be involved in the killing of the inspector, was taken to the district hospital for a medical examination and later produced before the magistrate, who sent him to prison for two weeks, the SP said.
On December 3, a mob of some 400 people rampaged through a village in Bulandshahr apparently after cow carcasses were found in a jungle nearby. During the violence, Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh and a 20-year-old man died of gunshot wounds. Singh and his team had gone to the area to tackle the violence when they came under attack by the mob.
On Saturday, the UP government transferred Bulandshahr SSP Krishna Bahadur Singh to the DGP office in Lucknow. Kumar had said the senior superintendent of police will be replaced by Sitapur SP Prabhakar Chaudhary. The government has transferred two other policemen of Bulandshahr district Circle Officer of Syana area Satya Prakash Sharma and Chingravati police chowki in-charge Suresh Kumar.
Additional Director General, Intelligence, SB Shiradkar submitted a report on the violence Friday. The transfers are understood to be in line with the findings of the report on police handling of the situation.
Inspector Singh, who died in the mob violence, was the investigating officer of the Dadri lynching case from September 28, 2015 to November 9, 2015. However, the chargesheet was filed by a different IO in March, 2016. Police have arrested nine accused in the Bulandshahr case but the main conspirator, Yogesh Raj, the district convener of Bajrang Dal, is on the run. In a video that surfaced online on Wednesday, Raj had claimed innocence.
Another inquiry by a government-constituted SIT is underway, and the team is going into the details and video footage of the incident, an official said. Also, a magisterial probe has been ordered by the government.
The Uttar Pradesh government has been severely criticised by opposition leaders over law and order and for its handling of the situation after the violence. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday said the violence in Bulandshahr was an "accident" and there was no mob lynching in his state. He, however, assured that no one responsible for the violence will be spared. The Congress has slammed Adityanath's downplaying of the severity of an incident of mob violence and said he has attempted to "derail" the probe in the case.