Yogesh Raj in the Bulandshahr violence. (Video grab).
Days after the Bulandshahr violence, Yogesh Raj, the main accused in the incident who has been absconding since Monday, issued a video message on Wednesday claiming his innocence, saying he was not present at the spot. In the video, which is going viral, Yogesh chants 'Jai Shree Ram' as introduces himself as the Bulandshahr district convenor of the Bajrang Dal.
According to Yogesh, he is innocent and the police are portraying him as if he is a “history-sheeter."
The police on Tuesday arrested four people and were hunting for Yogesh in connection with the violence that left inspector Subodh Kumar Singh, the station house officer of Siana, and 20-year-old Sumit Kumar dead. Subodh Kumar Singh's familiy members have demanded proper investigation into the matter.
According to reports, a mob of some 400 people, including right-wing activists, fought pitched battles with the police on Monday in Siyana area of Bulandshahr district, apparently after they were angered by the discovery of cow carcasses.
The mob set fire to dozens of vehicles, hurled stones and also fired guns at police who retaliated with gunfire. In the violence, Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh, the station house officer of Siyana, and 20-year-old Sumit Kumar were killed.
A video emerged Tuesday showing what a young man with his hand over a bleeding wound near the abdomen, being helped by other people as they all run. Someone is heard in the audio saying the man has been shot. It was not clear if the man is Sumit Kumar.
"There were two incidents that happened on that day," he said referring to the Monday incident.
"The first incident was related to cow slaughter at Mahav village near Siyana. When I got information about that, I reached there with my supporters. The police also reached there and we went to the Siyana police station for filing our complaint (about cow slaughter)," he said.
“When we were still at the police station we got to know that villagers were pelting stones. There had been firing as well and a youth and a policeman have received gunshot injuries, she added.
He also rubbished allegations that the Bajrang Dal was involved in the violence.
“When police were writing complaint as we had asked for, why would Bajrang Dal protest?... I was not present at the location of the second incident. I have nothing to do with it. I have full faith in the God. I will be cleared of all accusations," he said.
Additional Director General (Law and Order) Anand Kumar had earlier told mediapersons that the police were on the lookout for Yogesh Raj.
"Yogesh is on the run. Yogesh Raj, a local functionary of the Bajrang Dal, is the culprit and we are trying to nab him," Kumar had said.
On Tuesday, Bajrang Dal's national spokesperson Surendra Jain also had denied involvement of its functionary in the killings.
"This is the reaction of the entire Hindu community. It happened because of the failure of the government in preventing the slaughter of cows. The government may make laws but if these are not implemented, such incidents will continue to happen," he was quoted as saying in media reports.
(With PTI inputs)