- The three were charged under the stringent law for alleged cow slaughter
- The incident had caused clashes that killed 2, including cop, last month
- Uttar Pradesh government is accused of prioritising cows over humans
Three people arrested for alleged cattle slaughter in Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr last month have been charged under the National Security Act, top officials said today. The incident had spurred clashes in the area on December 3, leading to the death of a police officer and a civilian.
District Magistrate Anuj Jha confirmed that the stringent law -- which provides the authorities with powers to detain anybody acting in "any manner prejudicial to national security" -- was invoked against the accused. "The three had applied for bail, which we could not allow. Keeping this in mind, we charged them under the National Security Act," he said, identifying the accused as Ajhar, Nadimuddin and Mehbooba Ali.
Opposition parties and former bureaucrats have accused the Yogi Adityanath government of trying to scuttle the probe into Inspector Singh's death after media reports suggested that it was more concerned about the dead cattle than the humans killed in the violence. Over 80 retired civil servants wrote an open letter in this regard, calling for the resignation of Mr Adityanath for failing to safeguard the fundamental principles of governance, constitutional ethics and humane social conduct.
Senior police officer Anand Kumar called the letter "unsubstantiated and divorced from facts". "This kind of vilification by former bureaucrats is untenable and unacceptable... Notwithstanding the gravity and import of the heinous crime, equating it with the collapse of constitutional values is absolutely ridiculous. Neither is this the first incident of its kind, nor is this the only instance where a police officer has been martyred at the altar of duty," he maintained, blaming television debates and "media reports ignorant of ground realities" for the "misconception".
Even Mr Adityanath termed the incident as a political conspiracy. "Those giving unnecessary statements are doing it to hide their failures. Instead, they should applaud and thank the government," he told reporters in Lucknow.
Yogesh Raj, a district leader of right-wing group Bajrang Dal, was arrested last week for allegedly fomenting violence at Mahaw village in Siyana on December 3. The Bajrang Dal, however, maintains that Mr Raj is innocent and will be cleared of all allegations soon. Recently, it accorded the right-wing activist top billing in posters put up across the state on the occasion of Makar Sankranti and the upcoming Republic Day celebrations.