Out on bail, Yogesh Raj, who is accused of inciting a riot over alleged cow slaughter in Bulandshahr in 2018, emerged as a winner in the Uttar Pradesh panchayat elections as the results were announced on Monday, the Times of India reported.
According to the results, Yogesh won in ward no. 5 in Bulandshahr and received 10,352 of the 27,763 votes polled.
Yogesh, a resident of Syana village, is one of the main accused in the Bulandshahr violence in which two people, including inspector Subodh Kumar was killed. Raj has been out on bail since September 2019. He was a Bajrang Dal district coordinator at the time of the incident. After his arrest in January 2019, the Bajrang Dal said they will support Yogesh with legal assistance.
“In the past, I have been associated with many social service organisations. There are several issues which can only be resolved with political will. These include issues of disabled people, widows and even farmers. I am thankful to the people for electing me,” Yogesh told the media after his win, adding that his eyes were on fighting Lok Sabha elections in the future.
Commenting on his alleged role in the violence, he said, “Two people were martyred in the violence and I pay my condolences to their families. I am only accused of instigating the riots not murders.”
In the Bulandshahr violence case, the accused have reportedly been valorised. Seven accused got bail on the night of August 24, 2019. When they came out of the district jail, they received a heroic welcome by their supporters garlanding them and chanting slogans of ‘Jai Shri Ram’, ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and ‘Vande Mataram’.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Bulandshahr, Santosh Kumar Singh had told the media that all the accused granted bail were carrying riot charges and not murder charges.
Later, in October 2019, a statue of riot-accused Sumit Dalal, who was killed in the mob violence, was installed in his village to honour him as a gau rakshak. The plaque placed with the statue read "Gau Rakshak Vir Shahid Sumit Dalal".
Police inspector and station house officer of Syana, Subodh Kumar and the local youth Sumit were killed in Bulandshahr on December 3, 2018, when a mob went on a rampage over allegations of illegal cow slaughter. The violence had erupted in after carcasses of around 25 cattle were found in the forest. Residents had alleged the carcasses were of illegally slaughtered cows.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the case filed a chargesheet in March 2019 which says Yogesh and other accused had exchanged several phone calls before the protest against the alleged cow slaughter with led to the mob violence. The chargesheet alleged that Bajrang Dal activists had led the mob, put the cow carcass in a trolley, and blocked a road in an attempt to instigate a riot.