New Delhi: Bajrang Dal leader Yogesh Raj, the main accused in the killing of a policeman during mob violence over alleged cow slaughter in UP's Bulandshahr, was arrested on Thursday.
Sources told CNN-News18 that the key accused has been booked for rioting, three days after the Bulanshahr violence.
A day earlier, Raj had released a video from hiding, claiming that he was not present at the site of violence and had nothing to do with the protests. He also alleged that the UP police were trying to portray him in bad light.
Bajrang Dal's western Uttar Pradesh region co-convenor Praveen Bhati also claimed that Raj had nothing to do with the violence. "He will cooperate with the police and come out at the right time," Bhati said.
Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh, who had initially probed the 2015 lynching of Mohammed Akhlaq in Dadri, and 20-year-old Sumit Kumar died of gunshot injuries in the attack.
Uttar Pradesh police chief O P Singh suggested there was conspiracy behind the violence. With lakhs of people collected for a 'Tabligi Ijtema', a congregation of Muslims, 40 km from Mahaw village where the cattle carcasses were found, police also succeeded in containing what could have been a communal riot, he had said.
Many people kept away from their homes, fearing arrest in connection with the two FIRs registered by police — one over the alleged cow slaughter and the other for the violence that followed.
The wife and sister-in-law of Rajkumar Chaudhary, a former Mahaw village head and one of the 27 named accused in the FIR, alleged vandalism and assault by the police. The carcasses were found on his fields and he and some others from the village are absconding.
The villagers claimed people that the Bajrang Dal came to the spot from outside and insisted on taking the carcasses to the police post. But the police visited their village, they said.
Two of the accused in the case are minors, aged 11 and 12, while one, Sarfuddin, is claimed to have been wrongly named in the FIR. The local people claim another man, Sudaif Chaudhary, said to be a resident of the village, doesn't exist.