15 December 2018 03:00 PM

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TARIQ HASAN | 5 DECEMBER, 2018

Bulandshahar Killings Mark a Moment of Truth for the UP Police

More questions raised about cow carcasses, conduct of police


ALIGARH: Two days since a police inspector was shot dead by a frenzied mob in broad daylight in Bulandshahar district, a stone’s throw from the national capital, the country’s Prime Minister and the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh maintain a stony silence.

The fact that the mob was led by a person belonging to a ruling party affiliate is yet another chilling reminder of the state of affairs in India’s most populous state.

Ever since the Yogi Adityanath led government assumed power about two years ago, incidents of mob lynchings by cow vigilantes have been occurring time and again, especially in the communally hypersensitive areas of western UP.

In all such cases, the police have turned a blind eye to the perpetrators of such mob violence, frequently choosing instead to rubbish the claims of the victims, and even filing cases against them. The wheel has now turned full circle. Police Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh paid with his life for the shortcomings of his colleagues in this entire narrative of mob lynchings by cow vigilantes.

This writer spoke to a number of well informed persons in Bulandshahar and the story which emerges is deeply disturbing. Subodh Kumar Singh was the investigating officer in the lynching of Mohammad Akhlaq in Dadri in September 2015, and was a key witness in the ongoing magisterial probe on this matter.

His family members are openly saying that he was receiving threats because of his unbiased investigation.

Subodh Kumar Singh had earned the goodwill of all sections of society for in this all pervasive atmosphere of communal hatred he was carrying out his duties with courage and conviction.

It is now for the UP police to investigate whether this murder was indeed a targeted assassination forming part of a nefarious conspiracy to silence a key witness, and to spread the flames of hatred in western UP – and in other parts of the country, given that thousands of Muslims from different parts of India were holding a religious congregation at that very moment in Bulandshahar district.

DP Singh, a member of the national executive of the All India Kisan Sabha and former president of its UP unit – whose members played a key role on Monday in helping out, guiding and probably saving the lives of thousands of Muslim participants who were trapped in Bulandshahar on that fateful day – has no doubt that the entire episode was part of a well planned conspiracy to disturb the communal peace in the country.

Singh told this writer, “Chingrawati, the village where the carcasses of cows were found, has no Muslim population for miles. If the cows were slaughtered for providing the meal to the participants of the Ijtima (congregation) then why was this activity carried out when the Ijtima was over and the guests had already started dispersing?”

Singh added, “We have learnt that the first person to have reached the spot was Bhaskar, a Naib Tehsildar of Siana. According to reliable sources Bhaskar found all the flesh of the slaughtered animals on the trees where the carcasses were found. If the animals were slaughtered for beef, would they have left behind all the stuff?”

He said this point was deliberately being sidelined by the media.

Singh believes that the demand for instituting an SIT inquiry is a deliberate ploy to shield the culprits, because “the Bulandshahr police is pursuing the matter with all sincerity and is determined to unearth the truth behind this entire episode”.

“We are going ahead with added fervour to hold our convention on December 19 for promoting communal harmony, and celebrate this day in memory of the martyrs of the Kakori Revolt which symbolises India’s true nationalism,” Singh went on to say.

“Farmers are now becoming increasingly aware that communal hatred and violence is part of a deep rooted conspiracy to divert attention from the real issues,” he added.

A delegation of farmers belonging to the Kisan Sabha which wanted to visit the spot where the cow carracasses were discovered on Monday was not allowed to do so, according to Singh.

Singh said the Sabha also would make another effort to persuade authorities to grant them permission to visit the village in Siana tehsil where Monday’s violence occurred.

In a statement today, All India Kisan Sabha president Ashok Dhawale demanded that a “judicial inquiry should be instituted under the supervision of the Supreme Court of India, because this incident appears to be the part of a well orchestrated conspiracy to incite violence all over the country”.

Another question which also needs to be addressed in the entire sequence of events is this: How was permission granted to the organisers of this Ijtima in one of the most communally sensitive parts of the country? And at such a critical juncture, when communal sensitivities are reaching their peak in the run up to parliamentary polls?

It is a sad commentary and a telling pointer to the vision and foresight of the Muslim clergy who chose to hold this congregation at such a time.

For the UP police, the Bulandshahar killings are a moment of truth. Should they choose to slink back and allow the perpetrators to escape once more, this incident could well mark a point of no return, wherein the police force is reduced to the status of a helpless spectator, while mobs take over the entire justice delivery system of the country.
 

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