Half-a-dozen people have been detained for interrogation in connection with the death of two Muslim men whose bodies were found in a car in Haryana after they were allegedly abducted from Rajasthan by cow vigilantes, according to police.
It is also being investigated whether it is a case of cow vigilantism or not, police officials said on Friday.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot condemned the incident and said police have been directed to take strict action in the matter.
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Nasir (25) and Junaid alias Juna (35), both residents of Ghatmeeka village in Bharatpur district of Rajasthan, were allegedly abducted on Wednesday and their bodies were found inside a burnt car in Loharu in Bhiwani on Thursday morning.
The families of the deceased alleged in their police complaint that the people who abducted the two men were from the Bajrang Dal.
“Half a dozen people have been detained and are being interrogated. Those named in the FIR are associated with the Bajrang Dal but whether they were involved in the crime or not is yet to be ascertained,” Inspector General of Police, Bharatpur range, Gaurav Srivastava told PTI.
Junaid had a past criminal record of bovine smuggling. Five cases were registered against him at different police stations, the officer said.
Superintendent of Police, Bharatpur, Shyam Singh said an FIR has been registered at Gopalgarh police station against five people — Anil, Srikant, Rink Saini, Lokesh Singhla and Monu — on the basis of a complaint lodged by the victim’s family members and teams have been formed to nab the accused.
The accused have been booked under sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 365 (kidnapping), 367 (grievously hurt after kidnapping) and 368 (wrongfully keeping in confinement) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), he said.
Asked about the involvement of cow vigilantes in the incident, the SP said it is a matter of investigation.
Taking to Twitter, Gehlot condemned the killing. “The killing of two residents of Bharatpur’s Ghatmeekas village in Haryana is condemnable. Rajasthan and Haryana police are coordinating with each other for the probe… Rajasthan Police has been directed to take strict action,” the chief minister said.
Education Minister Zahida Khan reached Ghatmeeka village to take stock of the situation.
On the victim’s families alleging the Bajrang Dal’s role in the killings, the Rajasthan BJP said it is not justified to malign an organisation before the investigation is completed. “Whether the accused have links with the Bajrang Dal or are cow vigilantes, it is a matter of investigation. It is not justified to malign any organisation. It will be better if the police take action against those who are guilty,” state BJP spokesperson Ramlal Sharma told reporters.
A local resident had alerted Bhiwani police about the burnt SUV on Thursday. Police said they identified the owner of the vehicle as Aseen Khan from the chassis number of the car.
The Indian Express reported Mohit Yadav alias Monu Manesar, one of the six Bajrang Dal members named in the FIR, denied the allegation in a social media video and demanded “strict action against the perpetrators” involved in the case.
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Mohit, a native of Manesar, makes a living sub-letting room for labourers in the area, report said, adding, he has described himself as a “gau rakshak” and social activist. In 2011, he joined the Bajrang Dal as a district co-coordinator.
(With inputs from PTI)