Video Producer: Mayank Chawla
Video Editors: Mohd Irshad Alam, Karuna Mishra
Bittu Bajrangi, also known as Raj Kumar, who has been accused of instigating the violence in Haryana's Nuh district, was questioned and subsequently arrested at the Sadar Nuh Police Station on Tuesday, 15 August.
He was previously booked for hate speech and 'outraging religious sentiments' on 1 August, a day after violence broke out in the region.
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.
Moreover, Bajrangi, who is the president of the Gau Raksha Bajrang Force and an associate of wanted 'cow vigilante' Monu Manesar, is known for leading rallies against 'love jihad' and putting up posts on social media, asking his followers to boycott shops run by Muslims.
He has also been named an accused in at least five cases of hate speech and hurting religious sentiments.
What the FIR Says
The police, in a release, said that a case has been filed under Sections 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 395 (punishment for dacoity), 397 (robbery, or dacoity, with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt), and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation).
A First Information Report (FIR) was filed against Bajrangi at Faridabad's Dabua police station after a purported video was shared from his Facebook profile on the day of the violence.
As per the FIR, 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."
Moreover, 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.