The murder of a police officer in mob fury over cow slaughter allegations in Bulandshahr on Monday is a "big conspiracy", the Uttar Pradesh police chief said today in his first comments on the brutal killing.
Police inspector Subodh Kumar Singh was hit with a rock and shot dead by a mob of around 400 people when he had gone with his team to tackle tension over cow carcasses being found in a forest near a village. A 20-year-old local man was also killed in the mob violence.
"The incident in Bulandshahr is a big conspiracy. This is not only a law and order issue. How did the cattle carcass reach there? Who brought it, why and under what circumstances," questioned Director General of Police OP Singh.
The police are investigating whether the Bulandshahr incident was part of a plan to incite communal trouble in India's most politically crucial state, just months before the national election.
This morning, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath held a security review meeting but said little on the cop's murder as he ordered the arrests of those responsible for killing cows.
The police would try to determine the age of the cow carcass, said Anand Kumar, the state's number two police officer, to a question on whether there had been a conspiracy to vitiate the atmosphere by using a dead cow brought in from elsewhere.
"If there was anything like that, then the details will come out," the officer said in a press conference. "There's an intelligence investigation and all these aspects will be looked into."
The main suspect in the mob killing is Yogesh Raj, a member of the right-wing group Bajrang Dal. Yogesh Raj was the one who complained to the police on the cow carcasses and demanded action against cow slaughter.
In his complaint, he named two boys, 11 and 12, a man who hasn't been seen in the village in 10 years and three allegedly non-existent persons.
A member of Bajrang Dal, Bholendra, is quoted by Reuters as saying: "Every action has a reaction."
Bhola Singh, the BJP lawmaker from Bulandshahr, told reporters that the protests escalated because people were agitated over two recent incidents of cow slaughter.