Four people were arrested for the violent attack on a police station in Bulandshahar district for the death of the police station house officer and a bystander following the discovery of a few carcasses of cows in a nearby agricultural field earlier this week. Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh died from a bullet wound when someone from among the agitated crowd opened fire. One of the arrested is associated with the local unit of the Bajrang Dal.
The police said that anti-social elements in the crowd were responsible for the violence. The discovery of carcasses of cows in a field incensed local people who soon gathered to march towards the police post. They accused members of the minority community of cow slaughter and demanded stern action against the guilty. Even while Inspector Singh was trying to calm down the agitated crowd, someone attacked him with a blunt object followed by firing from an unlicensed firearm. He died while being rushed to the hospital. Whether or not it was a mere coincidence, the deceased police officer had first investigated the murder of Mohammed Akhlaq in a Dadri village in 2015 on the suspicion of cow slaughter.
All the accused in that case are now out on bail. The killing of the police officer has elicited condemnation from all parties. UP chief minster Yogi Adityanath has expressed deep sorrow at Singh’s murder. Other ruling party members have been equally forceful in condemning the heinous crime. No police force in the world takes lightly an attack on fellow members of the force. And Yogi has particularly relied on the state police to try and sanitize the streets and mohallas of various criminal activities. His virtual carte blanche to the police to neutralise known criminals, which has often led to complaints of fake encounter deaths, has shown some positive results as well. Maybe that is the reason why the chief minister seemed most upset and announced an ex-gratia payment for the victims.
He also met members of the deceased’s family, and committed to recruit the deceased’s son in the police force. Meanwhile, the anti-cow slaughter campaign has to guard itself against conspiracies by various elements keen to rend the society apart on religious lines. In the latest case, it is not known who left the carcasses in the open field and why? In all probability, the objective was to create trouble. Which it did when some villagers finding them lying there in the open raised hue and cry, soon gathering a goodly crowd and marching to the nearest police post. The investigation ordered by the State government hopefully will answer all these questions. Meanwhile, thanks to the no-nonsense stance of the local administration, peace has returned to Bulandshahar. Both communities need to maintain calm and ensure that neither causes another any provocation.