A human rights watchdog Tuesday condemned the killing of a police inspector in Bulandshahr, triggered allegedly over cow slaughter, saying a "culture of fear, hatred and impunity has spread across Uttar Pradesh".
Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh, who had probed the Mohammad Akhlaq lynching case in Dadri initially, and 20-year-old Sumit Kumar died of gunshot injuries Monday as a rampaging mob, protesting against alleged illegal cow slaughter, torched a police post and clashed with the men in uniform.
"The Uttar Pradesh government has arrested four people so far in the death of police inspector Subodh Kumar Singh. But mere arrests are not enough. The disturbing truth is that cow-vigilante groups operate in many cases with the tacit approval of the state authorities," it added.
Singh was the first investigating officer in the case of the death of Mohammad Akhlaq, who was killed in 2015 by a mob at Dadri in Uttar Pradesh on the suspicion that he possessed and consumed beef.
The sad reality in Uttar Pradesh was that nobody was safe from the violence perpetrated by cow vigilantes, neither the police nor the marginalised communities "or in fact anyone", Asmita Basu, Programmes Director, Amnesty India, said.
"The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, must take responsibility for the death of the police inspector. A culture of fear, hatred and impunity has spread across Uttar Pradesh. Many more will be attacked by the cow-vigilante groups in the state if the government does not end the prevailing impunity and bring those responsible to justice," she added.
The increased religious divisions that the Uttar Pradesh government encouraged only put the ordinary people at the risk of discrimination, hostility and violence, Basu said, adding that this must end immediately and the government must commit to respecting the rights of all people.
(With inputs from agencies.)