A day after communal violence erupted in Haryana's Nuh, the Faridabad police, on 1 August, filed an FIR against Bajrang Dal leader and self-styled cow vigilante Raj Kumar — who goes by the name 'Bittu Bajrangi.'
The FIR, accessed by The Quint, against Bittu was registered for a purported video shared from his Facebook profile on the day of the violence. The FIR has been filed at Faridabad's Dabua police station under IPC section pertaining to outraging religious feelings.
He has not been arrested yet.
"Today thousands of Muslims are behind bars because of me. They were carrying AK-47s. They burnt our cars. A case has been registered against me. And I have no intentions of running away," Bittu said in an interview to The Quint on 3 August.
In the purported Facebook video, he can be heard saying that the people of Nuh should welcome their "brother-in-law" with flowers and garlands. "Do not complaint later that we came without warning. We are currently in Pali and at least 150 cars will go to Dhauj (Faridabad) via Nuh. Your brother-in-law is coming. Be ready," Bajrangi can be heard saying amid chants of Jai Shri Ram and Har Har Mahadev.
What Does the FIR Say?
As per the FIR, filed on the basis of a complaint by Inspector Satish Kumar, in the video, the Bajrang Dal leader used derogatory terms for one community and instigated his followers with the intent to create communal unrest.
"Bittu Bajrangi, a Bajrang Dal leader, went live on his Facebook channel and told people from a specific community that he will share his location each step of the way, else they'd complaint that he came to his in-laws' and didn't tell him. He (Bittu Bajrangi) also told the locals to keep flowers and garlands ready to welcome their brother-in-law," the FIR said.
According to the FIR, the said video was recorded when Bittu was in Pali (Rajasthan). "Bittu Bajrangi, in the video, claimed that 150 cars were headed to Nuh. He was trying to incite people against a particular religion," claims the FIR.
What Happened on 31 July?
On 31 July, communal tensions gripped Nuh and several other districts in Haryana after violence broke out during the Brij Mandal Jalabhishek Yatra, a procession led by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) — a right-wing Hindutva organisation.
Bittu, in his Facebook video had allegedly claimed that he would participate in this yatra. Soon, several other videos made by locals in response to those by Monu Manesar and Bittu went viral on social media.
A day after the violence, several eyewitnesses told The Quint that Bittu's video fuelled tensions in the region. "Provocative videos of people like Monu Manesar and Bittu Bajrangi were shared widely on social media even before the yatra started. This creative massive unrest among the locals," said Irshad, a shopkeeper in Nuh.
At least 200 people have been arrested in over 102 FIRs registered in connection with the violence that killed seven people.