After an attack on local police that left two dead, 4 suspects have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the attack. The assailants attacked the police over rumors of cow slaughter.
Briefing the media, senior police officer Pravin Kumar said that the police had filed a case against 28 people who had set a police outpost on fire. From these 28, the police has arrested 4 and is working to bring the others to justice as well. He reiterated to the media that this attack claimed the lives of a policeman and a civilian.
The incident took place on Monday in the city of Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh state. The area is 300 kilometers (200 miles) southwest of Lucknow, the state capital. The chaos began after beef and a few animal bones were found in a field in a village. Cow slaughter is banned in parts of India, including Uttar Pradesh.
Kumar said police was looking for the main suspect and the planner of the attack, Yogesh Raj. While Raj is alleged to be a member of right-wing Bajrang Dal, the youth wing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, a Hindu group that opposes cow slaughter, it was not clear if any hard-line groups were behind the attack.
Kumar informed the media of how the incident happened; on Monday, villagers had blocked a road, demanding the arrest of those involved in slaughtering cows. They attacked the police when the local authorities tried to lift the blockade.
“Soon, the protesters outnumbered police,” he said. “They snatched arms, mobiles and cartridges of police. The policemen retreated. Someone from the crowd opened fire that killed the police inspector.” The crowd also torched a police outpost, police jeeps and a few private vehicles during the violence, he said.
This is not the first incident of its kind; India has recently seen a surge in such crimes. The politicization of cow, a scared animal for Hinduism, comes with the rise of BJP, a party that has consistently taken a hard-line stance on issues of protecting the “Hindu Identity” of India. The opposition parties blame the BJP led government for deepening the divide in the country. The BJP recently renamed historical cities, removing the “muslim names” and restoring the “original Sanskrit names” to major cities like Allahabad.