The Haryana Police on Tuesday arrested cow vigilante Bittu Bajrangi in Faridabad for alleged role in communal violence in the state.
Bajrangi is accused of making provocative statements ahead of a Hindu organisation's religious procession in Nuh on July 31 that later came under attack. Five people died in Nuh violence. The violence then spread to neighbouring Gurugram where shops and mosques were attacked. A Muslim cleric was killed in Gurugram.
Bajrangi is a member of the Bajrang Dal, a right-wing Hindu organisation that is the youth wing of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP). He is also the President of Goraksha Bajrang Force. His arrest was caught on CCTV footage that surfaced in media reports.
VIDEO | Bittu Bajrangi, a Bajrang Dal member, has been arrested in connection with violence in Haryana's Nuh.— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) August 15, 2023
(Source: Third Party) pic.twitter.com/SC04SydgiY
In a statement after Bajrangi's arrest shared by ANI, Faridabad Police said he was arrested by Nuh Police for questioning. The statement further said he and 15-20 others raised slogans in front of police officer in Nuh with weapons like swords.
The FIR against Bajrangi was filed at Nuh's Sadar police station based on a complaint filed by Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Usha Kundu, reported PTI.
The FIR against Bajrangi and the others has been registered under Indian Penal Code sections 148 (riots), 149 (unlawful assembly), 332 (causing hurt), 353, 186 (obstructing a public servant from discharging duty), 395, 397 (armed robbery), and 506 (criminal intimidation) and provisions of the Arms Act, police said, as per PTI.
A senior police officer told PTI that Bajrangi and his associates wielded illegal weapons during the VHP procession that came under attack.
During the violence that ensued, Bajrangi and his associates were brandishing their weapons in the air and Kundu confiscated the weapons but they snatched them from a police vehicle, the official said, alleging that they also threatened the police, reported PTI.
Earlier, Bajrangi was accused of making provocative statements on social media before the Nuh violence.
After the outbreak of communal violence in Haryana, Nuh SP Narendra Singh Bijarnia had said a case was lodged in Faridabad against Bajrangi.
Bajrangi, alias Raj Kumar, 45, is a fruit and vegetables trader at the Gazipur market and Dabua maket in Faridabad, reported PTI earlier, citing sources, and added that sources said he has been running his cow vigilante group for the last three years.
"In the last one month alone, he has been booked in three cases of inciting religious sentiments," reported PTI.