- An armyman, a key suspect in Bulandshahr cop's killing was arrested
- Photos with the police show Malik at the epicentre of the protests
- Cops probing whether shot fired by armyman could have killed inspector
An armyman, a key suspect in the killing of a police officer in Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr during a mob attack this week, was arrested around midnight. Jitendra Malik, also known as Jeetu Fauji, was handed over to the police by the army. The Uttar Pradesh police had been looking for him for the last 36 hours, sources have told NDTV. He was sent to 14-day judicial custody by a local court this afternoon.
"You can clearly see him (Jitendra Malik) fomenting trouble and instigating the crowd. We have an inkling that this armyman had a role in stone-throwing. Video and testimony are available to place Jitendra Malik at the spot. Why is an armyman instigating the crowd, why should he be raising these slogans," Anand Kumar, the senior-most officer in UP police, in-charge of law and order told NDTV today.
Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh was among two people killed on Monday when a mob clashed with the police in Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr, about 150 km from Delhi, over cow carcasses which right-wing groups said were illegally slaughtered. Besides Jitendra Malik, at least eight others have been arrested.
Mr Kumar also said that Yogesh Raj, the Bajrang Dal activist and another key accused will be "tracked down soon."
"We need to assess whether there was any impact of the Akhlaq lynching on the killing of Inspector Singh," Mr Kumar told NDTV.
In a set of photographs found by the police, Malik can be seen at the epicentre of the protests, outside the police post in Bulandshahr where the violence started. In these photos, he is right next to Yogesh Raj.
Jitendra Malik was detained on Friday night from Jammu and Kashmir's Sopore town. "We've arrested Army jawan Jitendra Malik. He was handed over by Army at 12:50 am today. Preliminary interrogation has been done. He is being sent to Bulandshahr and will be produced before court for judicial custody," said senior officer Abhishek Singh in Meerut.
Jitendra Malik, who was posted in Srinagar, was with the Rashtriya Rifles. He was in his hometown Bulandshahr on 15-day leave, when the mob violence took place, and can be seen in various videos shot that day. Sources say, he fled to Sopore the same evening inspector Subodh Kumar Singh and a civilian were killed.
Inspector Singh and his team had gone to the village to tackle the violence when they came under mob attack last Monday. On video, a wild mob can be seen chasing the policemen and shouting: "Maaro, take his gun!" Inspector Singh was assaulted with a sharp weapon and then shot in the head.
On Sunday, another police officer, the fourth since yesterday, was transferred out of Bulandshahr. Raees Akhtar, the Additional SP has been moved out. Earlier, three other officers were transferred for not being fast enough in reacting to the situation that arose after the cow carcasses were found. Senior officer Krishna Bahadur Singh, who was moved to Lucknow, has been replaced by Prabhakar Chaudhary, an officer from Sitapur.