Bajrang Dal’s Bittu Bajrangi Arrested
He, was arrested on Tuesday, in connection with the Nuh violence
Almost a month since violence shook Nuh, parts of Gurugram and other parts of Haryana, the Faridabad Police arrested Bittu Bajrangi, a Bajrang Dal member and cow vigilante on Tuesday.
There was outrage against Bajrangi after residents alleged that it was after the videos and live video shared on Bajrangi’s social media that the violence started and escalated.
Videos on social media have been shared where Bajrangi is seen, a few days before the ‘shobha yatra’ in Nuh, saying he is going to his “in-laws” place and they “should be prepared to welcome him”.
Accused in several other cases, Bittu Bajrangi was caught from near his Faridabad house nearly 20 days after the violence broke out. CCTV footage from the area showed plain clothes policemen, armed with sticks and guns, catching him after a long chase.
The FIR against Bajrangi and the others has been registered under Indian Penal Code sections 148 (riots), 149 (unlawful assembly), 332 (causing hurt), 353, 186 (obstructing a public servant from discharging duty), 395, 397 (armed robbery), and 506 (criminal intimidation) and provisions of the Arms Act, police said.
The officials’ said efforts are underway to arrest the others and social media is being monitored as well. Strict action will be taken against those who make provocative speeches or spread misleading news, they added. Reports suggest that the Faridabad Police is also identifying Bajrangi’s associates from the available videos who will be arrested.
A fruit and vegetables trader at the Gazipur market and Dabua market in Faridabad, Bittu Bajrangi alias Raj Kumar, has been running a cow vigilante group for the last three years.
In the last month alone, he was booked in three cases of inciting religious sentiments. After the Nuh violence, a case was registered against the Goraksha Bajrang Force chief in Faridabad.
Besides Bajrangi, Monu Manesar, also a Bajrang member and cow vigilante has also been alleged for sharing videos that incited violence. He has not been arrested.
Nuh, which is a Muslim dominated area, has been imposed with Section 144 since the violence with demolitions Muslim houses being demolished by the administration.
Speaking to The Citizen Chaudhary Aftab, the MLA from Nuh and member of Congress said that while Muslims are being targeted the perpetrators are roaming free.
“The violence was unfortunate. This was an attack to malign the peace in Nuh. There is no doubt that the Haryana Government is attacking the Muslims by just arresting them and demolishing their house,” he said.
When asked what the Muslim leadership was doing about the situation, he said that a Congress delegation stopped coming to Nuh and refused to comment further.
However, in Nuh, some residents have shared their disappointment not only with the MLA but the opposition. Mohammed Raqim, a resident of Nuh said that the opposition has not even met the families of the victims.
“The delegation was stopped but why are leaders in Nuh not able to do anything? It is so disappointing to see such a huge thing happen and no big action from the largest opposition party in India,” Raqim, a social activist, said.
The situation is still tense in the district with no word from the Congress leadership has left many disappointed. The Citizen tried to reach out to Congress leaders who were not available for a comment.
Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in his Independence Day speech on Tuesday asked who is benefitting from the clashes in Manipur or Haryana and how India will become Vishwaguru if such conflicts continue.
“Manipur is burning. A brother has taken up arms against another brother. In Haryana too, we saw two communities fighting. Who is benefitting from all these? How will India become Vishwaguru if? We are saying every day that India will become Vishwaguru,” Kejriwal said.
The communal clash last month claimed six lives and left at least 70 people injured, spreading from Nuh to Gurugram and Badshahpur, 40 km away.
A mosque was torched post-midnight, more than a hundred vehicles were set ablaze and vandalised as mobs went on rampage. The dead include two security personnel and two civilians, one of them a cleric of the mosque.
Despite no reports of violence from the areas, a major damage has been done, which according to the locals, is enough reason that tensions remain.
On the other hand, an 11-member fact-finding team from the Association for the Protection of Civil Rights (APCR) visited communal violence-affected areas in Haryana and said that despite being warned of potential unrest, including hate speeches and provocative videos shared by Monu Manesar and Bittu Bajrangi, the administration failed to take timely and appropriate action. These warnings went unheeded, which contributed to the escalation of violence, the report said.
“The police’s inability to maintain law and order was evident, as shown by the rescue of ACJM Anjali Jain and advocates by locals during the violence. This exposed the administration’s failure to ensure the safety of citizens and protect public property,” said the report.
“Violence on July 31… was premeditated and planned, with evidence communicated to the administration prior to the outbreak. The media’s inflammatory content further fueled the hostile environment,” the report said.
The fact-finding team recorded statements of responsible residents working in the area as well as the accounts of affected families of persons arrested by the Nuh Police.
The report also suggested that the police were complicit in the violence. “Videos and accounts suggested that police actively participated in the vandalism, destruction, and intimidation during the riots, undermining the trust citizens have in law enforcement,” it said.
It also talked about the arrests that have taken place post violence. According to reports, more than 200 men have been arrested from different villages of Nuh, out of which majority have been Muslims, pointing towards a biassed approach towards the administration.
The Citizen had reported from Murad bas, a village in The Citizen and how almost 22 men were picked up by the Haryana Police in a raid.
“This skewed approach to arrests further deepened the divide between communities,” the report stated.
Meanwhile, in a mahapanchayat that was conducted at Pondri village at the Palwal-Nuh border with police averring that it was allowed after a set of conditions, including “no hate speech”.
However, despite the order, the mahapanchayat used provocative language where some speakers issued open threats with the police on guard.
According to reports, organisers claim speakers were warned not to indulge in hate speeches, but some speakers ignored it. A speaker was heard saying, "if you raise a finger, we will cut off your hands," while another demanded licences for rifles.
A committee of 51 people at the mahapanchayat also decided that Nuh district should be abolished, and the area should be made cow slaughter free. Terming cow smuggling the root cause of all quarrels in the area, the committee demanded a paramilitary force headquarter be set up in Nuh to ensure security.
They also said that the government should provide arms to the people of Nuh and Palwal for self-defence, if anyone applies, it said, adding that all the cases should be transferred from Nuh to Gurugram or any other district.
The Citizen had reported how the Hindus in Nuh were demanding weapons for “self-defence”.
The committee decided to take out the Jalahishek Yatra again on August 28 in Nuh, and called for the release of all "innocent people" who were implicated in cases.
The gathering, organised by Sarv Hindu Samaj, a community group, discussed resuming the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) procession, called the 'Brajmandal Dharmik Yatra', on August 28.
The internet services, which were suspended in Nuh, were restored on Monday, according to police officials.