POLICE ARE investigating two charred bodies found inside a burnt vehicle in Haryana’s Bhiwani Thursday, a day after a family in Rajasthan filed an FIR alleging that two men Junaid and friend Nasir had gone missing and were kidnapped by members of the Bajrang Dal.
Hours after the discovery of the bodies, Ismail, Junaid’s cousin who filed the FIR, said the bodies were of Junaid and Nasir and they were murdered.
Police said they are yet to ascertain their identities but confirmed that the burnt car is the Bolero the two men were driving before they were reported missing from Rajasthan’s Bharatpur. According to Rajasthan Police, Junaid has five previous cases of cow smuggling registered against him.
Mohit Yadav alias Monu Manesar, one of the six Bajrang Dal members named in the FIR, denied the allegation in a social media video and demanded “strict action against the perpetrators” involved in the case.
Speaking to reporters, Bharatpur IG Gaurav Srivastava said, “Yesterday (Wednesday) night, the family members of the two men informed the Gopalgarh police station (in Bharatpur) that they had been abducted and an FIR was lodged. We traced their phones, which were switched off. They were seen in nearby areas and the names of some suspects came up. It was said that they were in a Bolero car and had been assaulted and kidnapped. This morning, that Bolero car with the same engine and chassis number was found in Bhiwani district’s Loharu area.”
Srivastava said, “The charred bodies of two unidentified men have been found in the car. To ascertain whether the two men are the same who were kidnapped, our team has gone to the spot with the family members. After post-mortem and DNA analyses, their identification will be verified. The family members have named some suspects and we have sent special teams to round them up. All the suspects are from Haryana.”
The IG said the motive behind the suspected murder is not clear. “Nasir doesn’t have any criminal record. Junaid has five previous cases of cow smuggling registered against him,” he said.
When contacted, Loharu DSP Jagat Singh told The Indian Express: “We got information about the incident at 8 am Thursday. With the help of the chassis number of the Bolero car, we contacted the owner of the vehicle. We carried out a preliminary investigation and informed the SHO of Gopalgarh (Rajasthan) who reached the spot.”
The officer said the post mortem was conducted in Loharu’s government hospital. “Later, the bodies have been handed over to the families concerned. We have undertaken inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC. Further investigation will be carried out by the Rajasthan police,” he said.
The FIR in Bharatpur, registered by Ismail, stated: “Today (Wednesday) morning, around 5 am, cousins of the complainant, Junaid and Nasir, had gone in their Bolero car for some personal work. The complainant was drinking tea at around 9 am when a stranger, who was also having tea, said the two men going towards the forest of Gopalgarh around 6 am were badly beaten by 8-10 men (and their) condition was serious and they were kidnapped by their assaulters.”
It stated: “Upon asking about the accused, the people at the spot said they were from the Bajrang Dal including Anil, resident of Multhan; Shrikant, resident of Maroda; Rinku Saini, resident of Ferozepur Jhirka; Lokesh Singla, resident of Hodal; and Monu resident of Manesar.”
Speaking to The Indian Express, Ismail alleged that the two men were abducted and burnt alive. “We want justice,” he said.
Meanwhile, in a video clip on social media, Mohit Yadav alias Monu, who is named in the FIR, said, “The allegations that are being raised against us are baseless. No team of Bajrang Dal was at the spot where the incident took place. No member of Bajrang Dal is involved in this. The incident, as we have seen on social media, is unfortunate. Strict action should be taken against the perpetrators and no one should be spared.”
On January 28, Mohit and others were named in another police complaint in Tauru in Haryana’s Nuh, after a 22-year-old man, who was caught by them on the suspicion of cattle smuggling and later handed over to the police, died at a hospital. Police said the man died of injuries sustained in an accident after the car he was travelling in along with his two associates crashed into a tempo.
Mohit (28), a native of Manesar, makes a living sub-letting rooms to labourers in the area. He has described himself as a “gau rakshak” and social activist. In 2011, he joined Bajrang Dal as a district co-coordinator.
“I grew up around cows. It is a matter of faith for me and it is my duty to protect the holy cow…After witnessing atrocities against cows, I vowed to rescue them and to stop illegal cattle smuggling rampant in places like Mewat and nearby districts,” he had told The Indian Express.