The accused Army jawan arrested from Jammu and Kashmir, who is allegedly involved in the Bulandshahr firing that killed a police Inspector and a civilian, was sent to judicial custody in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday.
Army jawan Jeetu Fauji alias Jitendra Malik has been sent to the judicial custody for 14 days by a local court. Speaking to news agency ANI, Malik said, "I am not an absconder. I haven't done anything wrong. I am being framed."
He was arrested on Saturday. He was detained by the Jammu and Kashmir 22 Rashtriya Rifles in Sopore town. A UP police team was sent to Jammu to arrest Malik. A total number of nine arrests have been made in the case.
The Army then handed him to Uttar Pradesh STF (Special Task Force) team in Meerut at 12:50 am early on Sunday. He has been named in the FIR filed in the Bulandshahr case. After the preliminary interrogation, he was sent to Bulandshahr and later produced before the court for judicial custody.
"We've arrested Army jawan Jitendra Malik, he was handed over by Army at 12:50 am today. Preliminary interrogation has been done. He is being sent to Bulandshahr, will be produced before court for judicial custody. He accepted he was there when crowd started gathering. Prima facie, it has been found true. It's not yet ascertained if he is the one who shot Inspector or Sumit. He said he went there with villagers, but denied pelting stones on police.Forensic of his mobile will be done," said Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Special Task Force (STF) Abhishek Singh in Meerut.
Malik is one of the suspects in the killing of police inspector Subodh Kumar during Bulandshahr mob violence. On December 3, a mob of some 400 people rampaged through a village in Bulandshahr apparently after cow carcasses were found in a jungle nearby. During the violence, Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh and a 20-year-old man died of gunshot wounds. Singh and his team had gone to the area to tackle the violence when they came under attack by the mob.
Inspector Singh, who died in the mob violence, was the investigating officer of the Dadri lynching case from September 28, 2015, to November 9, 2015. However, the chargesheet was filed by a different IO in March 2016.
Police have arrested nine accused in the Bulandshahr case but the main conspirator, Yogesh Raj, the district convener of Bajrang Dal, is on the run. In a video that surfaced online on Wednesday, Raj had claimed innocence.
Another inquiry by a government-constituted SIT is underway, and the team is going into the details and video footage of the incident, an official said.
Also, a magisterial probe has been ordered by the government.
The Uttar Pradesh government has been severely criticised by opposition leaders over law and order and for its handling of the situation after the violence. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday said the violence in Bulandshahr was an "accident" and there did not happen any incident of mob lynching in his state. He, however, assured that no one responsible for the violence will be spared.
Earlier on Saturday, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said that full cooperation will be extended to the Uttar Pradesh Police in the investigation of the incident.