Three persons were arrested for their alleged involvement in mob violence that broke out after cow carcasses were found strewn in a jungle, killing a police inspector and a passer-by, police said Tuesday, as angry and tearful families prepared for the last rites.
Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh and 20-year-old Sumit died of gunshot injuries sustained during the violence in the Uttar Pradesh village.
Twenty-seven people have been named in the FIR, registered around 3 am following the violence Monday, while cases have been lodged against 50 to 60 unidentified people, police officials said.
Of the 27 named, at least four are workers and functionaries of right-wing organisations, including the Bajrang Dal, officials said.
The main accused in the case is Bajrang Dal district convenor Yogesh Raj, who has not been arrested, officials said. Earlier in the day, police said four persons were arrested.
As police continued their investigations, emotions ran high in the area with Singh's body, draped in the tricolour, being prepared for last rites.
The deceased policeman's son Abhishek said his father wanted him to be a good citizen who doesn't incite violence in society in the name of religion.
"My father has lost his life in this Hindu-Muslim dispute. Whose father is next?" he asked tearfully.
Abhishek said he last spoke to his father when he phoned him to inquire whether he had studied and eaten.
Demanding "martyr" status for the slain inspector, who was one of those who probed the 2015 lynching of Mohammed Akhlaq, his sister alleged his killing was a conspiracy of the police and demanded martyr status for him.
"My brother was killed in a police conspiracy as he was probing a cow slaughter case... He should be given martyr status and a memorial should be constructed in his name in our native place," Sunita Singh told reporters.
"The cow is our mother, I accept it. My brother has give his life for her. The CM used to chant 'gau.. gau.. gau'.. Why can't he come for 'gau raksha'," an emotional Sunita Singh asked, hitting out at Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Bulandshahr MLA Devendra Lodhi Tuesday accused the district administration and police of improper handling of the case.
The BJP legislator said locals from the two villages of Mahav and Chingravathi had found the carcass of a cow and reported the matter to the police on Monday morning.
"Police should have registered the case, filed an FIR and taken action accordingly. But since they did not take any action, it resulted in the violence," Lodhi told PTI.
Lodhi demanded compensation for the two men killed.
The rampaging mob protesting alleged illegal cow slaughter torched a police post here and clashed with cops on Monday, according to police.
According to Additional Director General (Meerut zone) Prashant Kumar, the protestors from Mahaw village and nearby areas pelted stones on police and indulged in arson, set ablaze several vehicles and Chingarwathi Police Chowki, after some body parts of cows were found in a jungle near the village, prompting the police to open fire.
\RA chilling video showing the body of a policeman slumped to ground from the seat of a police vehicle surrounded by some people came to light after the incident.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Bulandshahr, Krishna B Singh said police were probing the matter and raids were being conducted to arrest the other accused.
The accused have been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including those related to rioting, murder and attempt to murder. PTI KIS/CORR ABN MIN
(With inputs from agencies.)