Rajasthan Police has said that the two Muslim men lynched in February were first taken to a police station in Haryana, according to a report.
The report added that Haryana Police personnel, who are already under the scanner of their home state, have been called for questioning by the Rajasthan Police, said the report.
Earlier in February, charred remains of 25-year-old Nasir and 35-year-old Junaid were found in a car in Haryana's Bhiwani. Both of them belonged to the Ghatmika village in Rajasthan's Bharatpur. The families of the victims accused gau rakshaks —cow vigilantes— for the deaths.
An NDTV report quoted Bharatpur Inspector General of Police Gaurav Srivastava as saying that there was a "huge lapse" on part of Haryana officials.
Whad does the report say?
He told NDTV, "We have called some officials of the Haryana police for questioning. This was a huge administrative negligence on their part."
The role of Haryana Police persnnel was already under investigation. Earlier, the Haryana Police had formed a special investigation team (SIT) to probe negligence against its Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) team of Ferozepur-Jhirka. The SIT was set up after family members of Nasir and Junaid alleged that the CIA team in Nuh district had "colluded" with Bajrang Dal activists in lynching the two victims and then setting their bodies ablaze inside the vehicle.
NDTV reported, "According to Mr Srivastava, the cow vigilantes were in touch with some officials of the Haryana police and had first taken the victims to the police after beating them up. The policemen, however, asked the vigilantes to take them somewhere else, instead of registering a case or providing medical assistance."
"Junaid was beaten to death on the way, but Nasir was still alive. The cow vigilantes took both of them to Bhiwani in Haryana. On reaching Bhiwani, they strangled Nasir to death and burnt the car by pouring petrol on both of their bodies," NDTV reported quoted Srivastava as saying.
Cow vigilantes 'colluded' with police: Families
Earlier, the families of Nasir and Junaid had alleged that the police and accused cow vigilantes were colluding.
Ismail, the brother of Junaid, had alleged that the victims were taken to a police station after being assaulted, but the police personnel in Nuh refused to take them into custody.
Nuh Superintendent of Police Varun Singla, however, dubbed the allegations as "baseless".
He said, "To probe the allegations against CIA, Ferozepur Jhirka, a special team has been formed led by ASP Usha Kundu...If our men are found involved, action will be taken."
Singla further said that they will also wait for the Rajasthan Police report to throw light on the CIA team's role.
Bajrang Dal-police collaboration
The Haryana Police and cow vigilantes appear to have had some sort of collaboration in the past, according to social media posts by vigilantes.
In the past, Monu Manesar of Bajrang Dal, one of the accused in the deaths of Nasir and Junaid's deaths, has publicly claimed cooperating with Haryana Police, including in the Nuh district where collusion has now been alleged. In one tweet, Monu claims to have nabbed alleged cow smugglers with Ferozepur Jhirka police which is now under the scanner.
"On 14.08.2022, Bajrang Dal, Manesar with Nuh Police's Firozepur Jhirka Police Station caught a Scorpio car and saved four cows and saved five cow smugglers from Mewat along with weapons," said Monu in a tweet from August 2022 in Hindi.
14,08,22 को @nuhpolice के थाना फिरोजपुर झिरका के साथ मिलकर बजरंग दल मानेसर ने पकड़ी स्कार्पियो गाड़ी 4 गाय बचाई 5 मेवाती गौतस्कर पकड़े साथ में हथियार भी पकड़ा @anilvijminister@mlkhattar@DivyaWrestler@flyingbeast320@vinod_bansal@NeerajDoneriapic.twitter.com/Diu9SB3qus— Monu Manesar (@MonuManesar) August 15, 2022
There are other posts too on Monu's Twitter account that claim joint activities with the police. In a tweet on January 15, 2022, Monu said in Hindi, "Bajrang Dal, Manesar today saved 15 cattle heads today with support of Nuh Police."
What's the case all about?
Charred bodies of two men identified as Nasir and Junaid of Ghatmika village in Rajasthan's Bharatpur were found in Haryana's Bhiwani in February.
The families of Nasir and Junaid of Ghatmika had lodged a complaint with the police a day before the recovery of bodies over their disappearance. The families allege the two were abducted and burnt to death.
There are five accused in the case, identified as Monu Manesar, Anil, Shrikant, Rinku Saini, and Lokesh Singla. All of them are Bajrang Dal members. Monu is a Bajrang Dal leader and a prominent face of cow vigilantism in Haryana.
Thirty-one-year-old Mohammad Jabir, a relative of both Junaid and Nasir, held Monu as being responsible for the deaths.
Jabir said, "Why are the police not arresting the accused? If Monu Manesar, a member of Bajrang Dal, is named in the FIR, why are the police not arresting him?"
Junaid's relative Ismail said the family learnt from the police in Ferozpur Jhirka in Haryana’s Nuh district about the abduction. Later the charred remains were found in Bhiwani’s Loharu area.
Monu Manesar's real name is Mohit Yadav. He is 30-year-old and is a native of Manesar in Haryana. Monu joined the Bajrang Dal as a co-coordinator in his home district Manesar in 2011 and was a member of the district cow protection task force formed by authorities after Haryana's cow protection law came into force in December 2015.
Monu is now the district president of Bajrang Dal and frequently courts controversy over the actions of his own cow protection group and shares videos of vigilantes chasing, confronting, and nabbing alleged cow smugglers. The videos, mostly live streams, have thousands of views and comments. Monu has also been involved in activities against what the Hindu Right calls 'love jihad'. In a video on his Twitter, he claims to have caught a man involved in the act. The man is seen being beaten in public in the video.
देश का बल बजरंगदल 🚩— Monu Manesar (@MonuManesar) November 22, 2022
फरीदाबाद oyo में जिहाद फैलाता हुआ पकड़ा गया जिहादी एक बच्ची के 35 टुकड़े होने से बचे।
अत्याधिक Retweet 🔁 करें ताकि ऐसी घटनाओं को रोका जा सके 🙏🏻🙏🏻 @email@example.com/s4ygTMx8EE
(With PTI inputs)