Bulandshahr Clashes | Hindutva Activists Exempt from Law & Order?

Not just cattle traders, even law and order seems to be the target of cow vigilantes. Merely 36 kms apart from Dadri, where Mohammad Akhlaq was lynched in 2015 over alleged cow slaughter, the latest site of violence is now Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh, where two died, including a police officer named Subodh Kumar, over the same issue — alleged cow slaughter.

Hi, I'm Shorbori, and in this edition of the Big Story, we'll look at how and why the mob violence broke out in Bulandshahr, a small town in Uttar Pradesh.

On 3 December, Hindutva activists find carcasses of cows in farms of Mahav village near Bulandshahr, after which they take the remains of the animals to the police station to lodge a complaint against illegal cow slaughter. More police officers came from a nearby police station in Syana, where Subodh Kumar was the station house officer. But soon, the skirmish between the security forces and mob turned into a full-fledged violence with the mobs attacking the security forces with firearms and stones.

A police chowki was set on fire, several police were vehicles torched, four police were officers injured, one civilian killed and SHO Subodh Kumar was shot dead. There's more than one link between this incident and Akhlaq's lynching. Subodh Kumar was one of the investigating officers in Akhlaq's case, and was instrumental in the prompt arrest of the accused.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who, in July this year, had said that he’s “equally committed” towards human lives as he is towards cows, is missing from the scene and, instead, has been campaigning in Telangana, proposing to rename Hyderabad as Bhagyanagar.

And as has been the latest trend in India, fake news propped up in no time. The editor-in-chief of Sudarshan News Suresh Chavhanke instigated on his prime time show that a three-day long islamic gathering was somehow linked to the violence on his prime time show.

Bulandhshar police swiftly clarified that that was not the case, considering that the gathering took place around 45-45 kilometers away where the violence took place.

But can this violence be termed as a Hindu-Muslim clash? Or is it a case of right-wing activists threatening and rejecting law and order when it comes in their way?

Let's look a few past incidents.

  1. In April 2017, BJP MP Raghav Lakhanpal, along with some protesters, attacked the office and the residence of SSP Love Kumar and intimidated his family after not being allowed to hold a procession on Ambedkar Jayanti.
  2. In the same month, Bajrang Dal activists attacked a police station in Agra to rescue five of their men, who were taken into custody after they were found beating up members of minority communities.
  3. In June 2017, a police team was attacked in Muzaffarnagar when it went to probe a news of cow slaughter. There was stone pelting and their vehicles were also.

There are a handful more such incidents if one keeps listing, where the perpetrators of violence haven't faced arrests. Does this indicate that the law is being bent for right-wing activists?

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