Nearly two months after going under the radar, Bajrang Dal member Monu Manesar, who is one of the accused named in the Junaid and Nasir murder FIR, was given the verified tick mark on Instagram earlier this week.
However, hours after The Quint reached out to Instagram on Thursday, 20 April, seeking a response on why Monu received a blue tick on the platform, his account was taken down.
This was confirmed to The Quint by Meta.
"This account was restored in error and has since been disabled.”-Meta Spokesperson
However, the social media platform did not respond to any of The Quint's specific queries on what lapses led to Monu being given the blue tick. The report will be updated if and when there is a response from Instagram.
Monu was named in the FIR in the Junaid-Nasir murder case, where the bodies of the uncle-nephew from Rajasthan’s Bharatpur were found were found burnt car in Haryana’s Bhiwani. Even as Monu was one of the five men named in the FIR, he hasn’t been arrested by the Rajasthan police, investigating the case, to date. Days later, the Rajasthan police released a poster of the ‘suspects’ in the case, and Monu wasn’t on the list despite being in the initial FIR.
Resurgence on Social Media
After being named in the FIR in the kidnapping and subsequent murder case on 16 February, Monu, who had an active online presence and would frequently upload videos of his vigilantism, went lowkey on all his social media platforms.
But earlier in April, Monu re-emerged on his YouTube channel as well as on Instagram. Then earlier this week, Monu’s profile was seen with a blue tick, meaning a verified profile.
Monu’s last post before going inactive on YouTube was on 8 February, and on Instagram was 12 February. He re-emerged on both YouTube on 8 April and on Instagram on 10 April. While he has uploaded two videos in the month of April on YouTube so far, he has uploaded four on Instagram.
These include one video where is claiming to rescue cows, another in which he is posing in front of the government poly-technique college in Manesar in Gurgaon. Then, last week he shared a video of AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi sharing a video talking about Monu, and how he has become a “big leader of Gau Rakshaks in Haryana...who has licensed weapons in his hands”.
In a picture of Monu posted recently by the Gau Raksha Dal, the caption says ‘back to the game’.
He recently also shared a video on how the ‘leftist media’ is targeting him but that was soon deleted.
Instagram's 'Community Guidelines'
The post then goes on to explain what it means to follow the law: "Instagram is not a place to support or praise terrorism, organized crime, or hate groups."
In October 2022, Monu received a silver play button from YouTube, after he crossed 1 lakh subscribers on his channel. Presently, Monu has 62.3k followers on Instagram, and 213k subscribers on YouTube.
Monu is a well-known member of the Haryana unit of the Bajrang Dal, often found posting videos on his social media where he boasts of chasing down alleged ‘cow smugglers’. He has also posted multiple photographs with Haryana police officers on his social media.
In the past, Monu has routinely shared videos and photos of people he claims are ‘cow smugglers’, who he and his group have ‘caught’. In many of these videos and photos, the faces of those he has caught are bloodied and swollen.