BULANDSHAHR: After being absconding for the past couple of weeks, Bajrang Dal leader Yogesh Raj, the prime suspect in the killing of police Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh during mob violence in December in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr, was finally arrested on Thursday.
Working on a tip-off about his movement, the police at around 11.30 on Wednesday night picked up Yogesh from his hideout in Khurja, 20km south of Bulandshahr.
A police officer from Lucknow in a condition of anonymity said Yogesh had “agreed to got arrested” since the BJP government in UP was facing sharp criticism “for not doing anything to arrest him.”
Coming out in support of Yogesh, the Bajrang Dal’s Praveen Bhati on Wednesday said he was “innocent” and that the right-wing outfit will “provide him with legal assistance,” as they have brought a dozen lawyers to defend Yogesh.
“He is innocent. We’ll provide him legal assistance. We will do whatever is good for him. We’ll present everything before the court and we are sure he will be acquitted of all the charges,” Bhati told ANI.
Previously, Bhati had appealed to Yogesh to surrender before police and cooperate with the police probe, assuring the organisation’s support to him.
As per the Senior Superintendent of Police P Chaudhary, Raj is being questioned. “His statements are being recorded, it will be presented before a court,” ANI quoted him as saying.
Yogesh, the youth wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and other right-wing leaders allegedly fared up violence after the carcasses of 25 cattle were found in the field near to a place where lakhs of devotees from minority community gathered to attend the congregation.
Locals claimed to be ready for compromise and wanted to bury the carcasses of cows but Yogesh and other right-wing activists allegedly did not allow and instigated the mob to take the carcasses towards Highway near to the police post, creating a ruckus.
Yogesh had earlier released a video claiming innocence and denying allegations that he was involved in fanning the violence in the town on December 3 last year which killed Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh and Sumit, a local.
The initial investigation by police officials points towards a pre-planned attempt at spreading communal tension as tragedy took place during the ‘Tablighi Ijtema’, a three-day Islamic congregation which began on December 1.
He is also the complainant in the alleged cow slaughter case which led to the arrest of seven Muslims including two minors. The special investigation team (SIT) later revealed that the Muslims men detained were innocent.