Bulandshahr violence: Prime accused Bajrang Dal member Yogesh Raj arrested
Bajrang Dal member Yogesh Raj, the prime accused of Bulandshahr violence which claimed lives of a police inspector and a youth has been arrested, Uttar Pradesh police said on Thursday. Violence over alleged cow slaughter led to clashes on December 3, 2018 killing cop Subodh Singh and Sumit Kumar. Yogesh had been absconding since then but appeared to make a video claiming innocence.
Soon after Yogesh was named as a prime accused and the mastermind of the violence, he released a video. Sporting a clean-shaven look, Yogesh claimed he went to cops to complain about the cow slaughter and had no connection with the violence which followed. He asked why would he 'plan' the clashes when police promised to take cognizance of their complaint.
After video's release, support poured for Yogesh on social media. One user wrote, "Mai bhi Yogesh Raj Bharat Mata ki Jai. I am with Yogesh Raj and all innocent Hindus. Give justice to martyr Sumit," while another posted, "Hum is Dharm Yudh me Yogesh Raj aur Bajrang Dal ke Saath hai (We are with Yogesh Raj and Bajrang Dal in this war of religion)."
Last week, UP police arrested a Delhi cab driver, Prashant Natt, who allegedly shot at inspector Singh with the latter's service revolver. Natt was picked up after video of the incident and statement of locals incriminated him. Notably, police recreated the entire scene leading up to Singh's murder and Natt reportedly confessed his crime. Police also found that Singh was attacked with axe first.
The police also arrested an army man, Jitendra Mallik, who had a role in the violence. Mallik was posted in Jammu and Kashmir. The local who attacked Singh with an axe was nabbed too. About Yogesh, the police had said earlier that he has been declared a proclaimed offender by the court. If he doesn't surrender, strict action would be taken, police had warned.