In the latest development in the Bulandshahr violence, three more Muslims Rayees (40), Nadeemuddin (45) and Kala Qureshi (35) have been held even as the four previously held were released after the Special Investigation Team found them innocent.
Now, the police have begun late night raids into the ‘Muslim’ houses including the three arrested and Abu Zar, Azhar, Zafar and Nafis in different mohallas of Siyana. However, since December 3, the key accused Yogesh Raj, district convenor of Bajrang Dal is still absconding and the reports suggest that the police is clueless. Meanwhile, the police have pasted posters in villages displaying the accused's name and photograph, yet no information has been revealed until now.
On December 3, Bajrang Dal and local Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders of Bulandshahr spread rumours of cow slaughtering and soon after, violence broke out which ended in the killing of a police inspector Subodh Kumar Singh and a civilian Sumit, who has also been named as an accused in the case. Four Muslims were arrested on the basis of a FIR lodged by the district Bajrang Dal convenor Yogesh Raj, who claimed seven people had slaughtered cows. Seventeen days later, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) revealed that these four Muslims are innocent and have had nothing to do with cow slaughter, and cops would soon move the court for their release.
According to The Indian Express, Senior Superintendent of Police Prabhakar Chaudhary said, "Three men - Nadeem, Rayees and Kala - have been arrested for their role in the cow slaughtering incident. A vehicle and a licensed weapon have also been recovered from their possession. The trio were not named in the initial FIR, which had seven accused including two minors of Naya Bans village, but during the probe their names emerged."
Atul Srivastav, SP City, Siana told media persons that the three arrested used to shoot cows with gun first, cut it in pieces and then divide it among themselves.
NewsClick spoke to the people living in Siyana town to understand the nature of raids and who are the people who have been arrested. What came out is that the police have been allegedly raiding Muslim houses late into the night and upon intervention by family members, the security personnel have been harassing and beating them up. Following the raids and fear inflicted upon people by the police, many Muslims have fled from their houses.
A local from Siyana, wishing anonymity, told NewsClick, "Police have snatched our gun license and have beaten us up. They have been forcing us to accept our complicity in cow slaughtering, if we refuse, they beat us up. They even misbehaved with the women. We no more feel safe here. Many of my neighbours have left their houses and are staying at their relatives’ place."
Another native Shadab Hussain said, "On December 16, in the evening seven people were arrested of which three were set free. Rest four are still in the custody. All of them are Muslims and prominent faces in the houses. They are being targeted because they kept licensed gun. Nadeemuddin, Rayees and Kala Qureshi have been sent to the jail."
Shadab further added, “All of the arrested are poor people. Rayees is a rickshaw puller and Kala too is economically marginalised. I don’t know how the police have claimed that they have links with cow slaughter.”