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Bulandshahar violence: Who will now take the responsibility of inspector Subodh Kumar Singh's death

Unless someone is held accountable for such lapses, violence will go unabated ahead of elections.

 |  4-minute read |   04-12-2018
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Village Sayana at Bulandshahar district in western Uttar Pradesh was in the news on Monday, December 3, for all the wrong and unpleasant reasons. The villagers are reported to have discovered a number of carcasses thought to have been of slaughtered cows, leading to considerable anger by an agitated mob.

Subsequently, the infuriated crowd — no one was leading them and they were clueless of what was happening and what might happen — brought the remains of the cows out in full public display.

bulandshahar-inside_120418115545.jpgPoliticians should come forward to ensure that such things do not happen. (Photo: PTI)

Tension mounted and the crowd targeted the local police outpost, resorting to violence, and allegedly set it afire. Continuing with an ugly display of violence, the agitating crowd blocked the roads, bringing complete collapse of vehicular movements. It was a field day for the agitators in the continued orgy of violence. 

Violence didn’t stop here. The angry demonstrators started hitting a courageous police inspector who, in an extraordinary display of duty, tried to control the riotous mob. Being repeatedly hit by stones, inspector Subodh Kumar Singh died of injuries, though there are conflicting reports on whether he died of bullet injuries or whether the injuries were caused by a blunt object.

A duty-bound police officer who had the courage to face such a huge and irate mob, which had no agenda except to go on a rampage to cause some wanton destruction, lost his life. A bystander named Sumit was another victim.

These days, police generally do not confront a riotous mob. They get no protection from their seniors or the local politicians, but are made easy scapegoats in inquiries that routinely take place following such incidents.

Here, at least one courageous cop took upon himself the onerous responsibility to face the violence, but sadly, he fell in such a cowardly manner by an uncontrolled mob.

UP doesn’t have a dearth of courageous officers, but after this horrific act of violence, many are not likely to come forward to deal such situations. It will be a hugely discouraging factor.

Senior UP police officials, including the ADG (law and order) and IG Meerut Zone, were quick to reach the spot in an attempt to control the situation. But a precious life was already lost and vandalism was at its peak as if the local administration had all but collapsed.

It’s time for the UP establishment to ensure that their administrative machinery is well-oiled and is in complete readiness to address any serious law and order issue.

subodh_pti-inside_120418115534.jpgSubodh Kumar Singh was the investigating officer of the Akhlaq lynching case. (Photo: PTI)

However, judging by this recent incident, it does not look like that it can function professionally. A Special Investigation Team has been quickly instituted, which can only serve the short-term interests.

After the dust settles, it will again be the same run-of-the-mill situation.

It is learnt that a large congregation of Muslims was in progress not far from this place of occurrence. Wasn’t the Local Inteligence Unit aware of it? If yes, did they caution the district administration that a single spark could ignite passions among the communities leading to disastrous consequences? We assume they had, yet this happened. Someone has to answer this. Unless someone is held accountable for such lapses, violence will go unabated.

This assumes significance because Bulandshahar is a communally sensitive district and so are the neighbouring districts like Aligarh, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar etc., which had witnessed fierce communal clashes in the past. Ayodhya, too, is hypersensitive owing to reports of the construction of the Ram Mandir being circulated.

Apolitically speaking, and purely from the law and order point of view, Uttar Pradesh can’t afford to have communal uneasiness. It’s a large state and a minor conflagration can snowball into titanic consequences. 

Any political party will be doing its own hara kiri, if it allows unbridled riots of any nature — whether it amounts to killing of a cop or large-scale mob violence.

The morale of the police has to be kept up always. In the recent times, police had taken severe beatings in public places lowering their morale. This can’t be afforded. Not very far from Bulandshahar, in Kankarkhera near Meerut, a sub-inspector in uniform was seen in a viral video being thrashed by a local politician at a public place. If the custodians of law and order are targeted like this, then who would protect the society at large?

Politicians should come forward to ensure that such things do not happen. Public should also cooperate with police to prevent any untoward incident.

Also Read: Uttar Pradesh can’t run without its cops. Why one murder should not be held against the entire force 

Assembly Elections 2018
Assembly Elections 2018

Writer

Shantanu Mukharji Shantanu Mukharji @shantanu2818

The author is a retired IPS officer who has held key positions in the Government of India handling sensitive security issues within and outside India.

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