Bijnor violence: Lawyer linked to RSS & BJP instigated mob, says police
Two days after three people were killed and several others injured in a clash between two communities in Peda village in Bijnor, 21 of the 27 accused named in the FIR are still absconding. "Efforts are on to nab them," SP Umesh Srivastava told Catch even as locals have alleged that the police has only be able to arrest the people who were not directly involved in the crime. Sansar Singh, said to be the main culprit in the incident, is among those who are still at large.
According to ADG, Law & Order, Daljeet Chaudhary, a local RSS functionary Aishwarya Chaudhary led the mob. "Aishwarya Chaudhary led the mob along with his gunman. There is photographic evidence to prove it. He is absconding as of now. But we will arrest him," he told Catch.
Aishwarya is a young lawyer who is part of the RSS affiliated Adhivakta Sangh.
According to locals, Aishwarya is associated with the BJP and is vying for a ticket in the upcoming Assembly elections. His father Rajender Kumar is said to have been initially given the ticket from Bijnor for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. But the ticket was later given to Kunwar Bhartendra Singh.
Asit Srivastava, the Circle Officer in-charge of the police stationsays that one of the arrested persons has a licensed .315 bore weapon which may have been used in the firing.
According to an account by Shahnawaz, on Friday morning, when his cousin Talib and his sister were on their way to school, some boys from the village led by Sansar Singh's son, harassed Talib's sister leading to a scuffle. Talib then came back home and told the family about the incident after which members of the family went to Singh's house to lodge a protest. This led to a heated argument and pelting of stones, from both sides. Later, when Talib's extended family was having breakfast from on their terrace, a group of people, including some from the nearby villages, gathered on Singh's terrace, bang opposite on the other side of the street and started firing indiscriminately, leading to three deaths and gunshot injuries to several others from the family.
Asit Srivastava, meanwhile, told Catch that a new theory has emerged where the villagers belonging to the Jat community are claiming that there was an argument a day earlier on Thursday after boys from the minority community harassed a girl from the Jat community. BJP MP from Nagina, Yashwant Singh, had also earlier told Catch that there were multiple incidents of eve-teasing of girls from the Jaat community which were reported to the Police which did not act. And that on Friday the Jat villagers had to fire in self defence after they were outnumbered.
Both these stories have failed to convince the local cops. Asit Srivastava points out that while the villagers are claiming that there was a case of harassment of a girl the previous day, they are yet to reveal the details of the incident to the police, including the identity of the girl. "It could have been an afterthought, this story," he says. SP Umesh Srivastava, meanwhile, is even more terse in his response, and says the claims of the BJP MP is a "concocted story". He says "I don't think there was any attack from the other side which provoked firing for all the casualties including the injured persons belong to the minority community," he says while adding "how come not even one person from the other community suffer any injury if it was a faceoff between both sides?"
Meanwhile, according to local police officials, the arrested persons, during their interrogation have told the cops that it was not a planned crime and that it happened in the spur of the moment. The police has also ruled out a communal angle to it. "The FIR was filed late in the night, while the incident happened in the morning which explains how certain references to it being a communal incident may have come in from the victims side," a senior police officer says. Both sides, according to the local police, have rejected the claims that the incident had any communal undertones, barring the fact that it involved two communities from two different religious groups.
Meanwhile, another senior police official posted in Western UP told Catch that one should not be surprised if more such incidents happen. "The social fabric of the region is in tatters," the official said.