Video Producer: Vishnu Gopinath
Video Editor: Karuna Mishra
"If someone curses at me, says things about my mother or sisters, or hurts my gaumata in front of me, then they will get a response. Whoever does wrong things, I complain and send them to jail. Because of me, thousands of Muslims are in jail."Bittu Bajrangi to The Quint
Bittu Bajrangi, also known as Raj Kumar, who has been accused of instigating the violence in Haryana's Nuh district, was booked for hate speech and 'outraging religious sentiments' on 1 August, a day after violence broke out in the region.
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. He has not been arrested yet.
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.
In an interview with The Quint, Bajrangi talks about the violence in Nuh and alleges that he was "framed" for various crimes.
Where were you during the violence in Nuh and why is your name being mentioned in this context?
Our annual Shobha Yatra happens every year, and this year too, it was happening peacefully. We prepare for it for many months. This Shobha Yatra in Mewat started from Nalhar Shiv Temple after a 'jalabhisek'. The yatra was on its way to different locations.
But those people are saying that I shared a video, which they found offensive. We were all at a toll gate here. And from the toll gate, I shared a video. They felt the video was offensive.
Half an hour after that, we reached the temple. They were there threatening us with weapons. They set vehicles on fire. They did wrong things to our mothers and sisters. Two of our soldiers were martyred. They came down from the hills and shot at us.
They torched cylinders, looted shops, even looted a showroom. Did this all happen in half an hour? They are casting false allegations against me and trying to frame me for these crimes.
The allegations against you are that you encouraged this violence and that your people were repeatedly challenging, which is why the violence took place. What do you have to say to this?
I didn't challenge anything. I put out a video half an hour before the violence. But YouTubers from Mewat have been meeting for 15 days and challenging us saying, "If Monu Manesar and Bittu Bajrangi come here, we will cut them and kill them." They also said it.
Mamman Khan, Aftab Ahmed, and Jabir Ghatmika said that if we come here, the situation will get worse.
Just to clarify. You're talking about legislators?
They said the situation would get worse if we came here and the administration would be held responsible for it. They said this even before we came.
Why did they say this?
They should tell you this. The people behind the violence, the ones who shot soldiers and set cars on fire. They should tell you why they did this.
Why did they say that if you went there the situation would decline? In the past, have you made statements that could stoke tensions?
They think it will happen. Because for around 30 years, I've acted against 'love jihad', money matters, and other issues. They think I'm speaking against them. Whoever does wrong things, I complain and send them to jail. Because of me, thousands of Muslims are in jail.
Do you use Facebook? You shared a video on Facebook, with a song which says, 'Many bullets will be shot at...babar...kabar.' I couldn't understand the words after that. Who was that video meant for?
I've put videos like this earlier too, as my photo. It felt correct to put it at that time, so I posted it. People post Sidhu Moosewala's photo, so do they become Sidhu Moosewala? If they post a movie's song do they become that? If you interpret it in some other way it's not my fault.
A video surfaced of people firing from a temple. They are firing bullets from inside the temple. In that video, you are also visible with the people present. Can you tell us about it?
You saw that video? Weren't other people also there? Was I the only one in the video? Our madam, the IG, was present, and she had bodyguards. So maybe one of those bodyguards were firing. They saved our lives.