Ram Sena, Bajrang Dal Accept Role in Lynching of 2 Adivasis in MP. Yet Cops Deny

Office bearers of Bajrang Dal and Shri Ram Sena have alleged that they first caught the two victims with cow meat.

3 min read
Hindi Female

Days after two Adivasis were lynched over suspicion of cow slaughter in Madhya Pradesh's Seoni district, state Home Minister Narottam Mishra and top police officers, including Seoni Superintendent of Police (SP) Kumar Prateek, denied the involvement of right-wing groups Bajrang Dal and Shri Ram Sena in the brutal killings.

This is despite office bearers of the said right-wing groups conceding that they caught the two Adivasis on 2 May, allegedly with cow meat, and handed them over to the police.

However, they claimed that they did not commit any violence before handing over the two men.

On the night of 2 May, the two Adivasi men were lynched allegedly by members of Bajrang Dal and Shri Ram Sena. Speaking to The Quint, the families of the victims and an eyewitness and neighbour of one of the deceased, too, said that those involved in the lynching belonged to Bajrang Dal and Shri Ram Sena.

Brajesh Wati, who was also beaten up on the day of the incident, told The Quint, "All the members who came to beat up Dhansha and Sampat belonged to Bajrang Dal and Ram Sena."

However, the police deny the link between the accused and the Hindutva outfits. Even state Home Minister Mishra added, "Prima facie nothing of this sort has come out," talking about the link.


What the Hindutva Groups Said

Talking to The Quint, Shubham Singh, Province President of Shri Ram Sena, said:

"It was us, members of our organisation, who caught the tribals with cow meat and we handed them over along with the confiscated meat to the police. When the police took over the tribals, they were not hurt that much and they were able to walk on their own."

Singh further went on to shift the blame on to the police, claiming that something must have happened at the police station which led to the death of the two Adivasis.

"If they had been severely injured, why didn't the police take them to the hospital at the first instance? Instead, the police took the tribals to the Badalpar chowki (outpost) to record their statements," said Singh.

Devendra Sen, district coordinator of Bajrang Dal, also confirmed to The Quint the involvement of Bajrangis (a nickname for members of Bajrang Dal) in the incident. However, he, too, denied allegations of the violence.

"The Bajrangis and members of other groups caught the tribals with cow meat and handed them over to the police. There was no violence and the tribals were not beaten up by our people," Sen said.

Photos of Accused With BJP District President Go Viral

Several photos of the accused and of those arrested, with leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), have gone viral after the lynching came to light.

A viral photo of accused Deepak Awadhiya with BJP district president Alok Dubey is one such. Further, a video of Awadhiya taking part in the Path Sanchalan (route march) of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has also gone viral among the locals.

Meanwhile, locals have claimed that another accused, Sher Singh Rathod, is a member of Vishva Hindu Parishad's (VHP)'s cow protection squad in Seoni district.

A snippet of a Facebook profile under the name of Sher Singh Rathod also mentions the same.

Several other accused are also said to have direct links with Bajrang Dal and Shri Ram Sena.


Contradictory Claims by Seoni Cops

Seoni district SP Kumar Prateek has claimed that he can't confirm whether those arrested had any connection with the right-wing groups.

The SP said, "There is no confirmation on the association of those arrested with Bajrang Dal or other groups. The matter is under investigation and whatever the investigation reveals will be shared with everyone."

On the other hand, Kurai police station in-charge GS Uikey, under whose limits the place of incident falls, categorically stated that among those arrested, three are from Bajrang Dal, and six are from Shri Ram Sena.

"We have arrested some people, of which three belong to Bajrang Dal and six belong Shri Ram Sena," Uikey said.

Amid the contradictory statements from the police, Congress MLA Kantilal Bhuria has alleged that the administration is trying to save Bajrang Dal and Shri Ram Sena members.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Cow Slaughter   Lynching   Madhya Pradesh 

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