Noida: The Uttar Pradesh Police claimed to have solved the alleged murder of 22-year-old Bhim Army activist Sachin Walia, brother of Bhim Army’s district president Kamal Singh Walia.
A youth named Praveen, who was a friend of Sachin, has been arrested. The police claimed that during interrogation, Praveen confessed that he accidentally discharged a country-made firearm which killed Sachin.
“Praveen said that on May 9, the day of the incident, he was at his shop when he got a call from Sachin. Sachin called him to the house of one Nihal, a common friend, where a group of boys had gathered. Sachin then took out a country-made pistol and started showing it to everyone who had gathered. He passed the weapon around,” said Deputy Inspector General (DIG Saharanpur Range) Sharad Sachan.
He added, “When it was Praveen’s turn to hold the weapon in his hand, he accidentally pressed the trigger. A bullet hit Sachin in his face and he died on the spot. The boys present at the location panicked and left the weapon at Nihal’s house. They then rushed Sachin to the hospital, where he was declared brought dead.”
Police have recovered the weapon. The incident took place on May 9, Maharana Pratap Jayanti, which was also the first anniversary of the 2017 Saharanpur riots.
In the run up to this year's Jayanti, several Rajput outfits had demanded permission to celebrate the event. Bhim Army had in turn demanded that permission be denied to Rajput outfits since it could lead to a breakdown of law and order.
As a compromise, the administration only gave permission to a gathering of 200 people. But despite heavy deployment of the RAF, PAC and civil police. The distrust of the state machinery deepens further, said Bhim Army leaders, when one takes into account the fact that one of the outfits at the forefront of the Maharana Pratap Jayanti celebrations was the Hindu Yuva Vahini - an outfit that owes allegiance to UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.