Bulandshahr violence that killed Uttar Pradesh cop Subodh Kumar Singh and a local youth, took a new turn on Friday when reports surfacing that an army soldier, seen in the viral videos from the day of the incident, had allegedly fired the bullet that killed Singh.
"Based on the statements of villagers, it has been found that the soldier, Jeetu Fauji, had allegedly fired the shot that killed the inspector," Meerut Zone IG Ram Kumar told News18.
According to preliminary information, the suspected soldier identified as Jeetu Fauji is posted in Srinagar. Reports added that two police teams have been sent to Srinagar to track Fauji's location.
The soldier was reportedly seen in a lot of videos from the day of the incident that went viral on social media. Speaking to NDTV, the family members of Fauji confirmed that he was present but left the state the next day.
"He came from the spot and said, 'see the drama' and left for Kargil the same evening," Chandravati, Jeetu's aunt quoted as saying.
IG Crime S K Bhagat told PTI, "Five more arrests have been made in connection with Inspector Subodh Singh's death, taking the number of those arrested to nine".
"We hope that he will be arrested soon," he added.
Bhagat said the five people, who were arrested, were identified as Chandra, Rohit, Sonu, Nitin and Jitendra. He said their names were not mentioned in the FIR lodged in connection with the inspector's murder.
They were arrested on the basis of video footage and eyewitness accounts, and police teams were conducting raids to make more arrests, the IG said.
He said a confidential report of an inquiry conducted by ADG Intelligence S B Shirodkar has been handed over to senior officials.
To a question on the inquiry by the SIT, he said it could take some time as they have to go into details of every aspect of the case.
A mob of some 400 people fought pitched battles with police on Monday in Siana area of Bulandshahr district, apparently after right-wing activists were angered by the discovery of cow carcasses strewn in a nearby jungle.
The incident had left Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh and 20-year-old Sumit Kumar dead.
The UP government on Friday said that Special Task Force (STF) will assist the Special Investigating Team probing the incident.
"The four-member SIT led by Inspector General, Meerut, is going through the footage of the incident to zero in on the culprits," officials quoted as saying.
On Wednesday, a video from the spot where Singh was killed went viral on social media.
The video shows mob hurling stones and shouting towards inspector Subodh Kumar Singh after local resident Sumit was being shot. The attackers are heard shouting "cheen lo bandook iski" (snatch his gun) after which inspector Singh is seen lying on the ground.
The video that surfaced on Wednesday is believed to have been filmed before Sumit was shot. He, along with some youths, was seen pelting stones on the police. After that, it could be seen that Sumit was shot and taken to hospital by youths.
Earlier, on Tuesday, a video of Yogesh Raj, the main accused in the killing of a policeman went viral.
In the video, Yogesh introduces himself as the Bulandshahr district convenor of the Bajrang Dal. He also claimed that he was not present at the site of violence and had nothing to do with the protests.
Yogesh alleged that the Uttar Pradesh police are trying to portray him in bad light.
"Police mujhe is prakar prastut kar rahi hai ki jaise mera koi bahut bara apradhik itihas ho..." (Police is trying to frame me in a way that I have a serious criminal background), Yogesh can be heard saying in the viral video.
(With inputs from agencies)