By Aiswarya Raj
LESS THAN 24 hours before their charred bodies were found in their Bolero in Haryana’s Bhiwani on February 16, Rajasthan residents Junaid (35) and Nasir (25) were taken by cow vigilantes to a police station in Nuh district, which turned them away, saying it had nothing to do with them, according to the chargesheet filed by Rajasthan Police.
Junaid and Nasir, residents of Ghatmika in Bharatpur district, went missing on the morning of February 15. Their bodies were found the next morning. Their family members have alleged that they were kidnapped by Bajrang Dal members.
According to the chargesheet, filed in a Kaman court on May 16, the cow vigilantes had targeted the two on suspicion of smuggling cattle in Rajasthan’s Peeruka, and assaulted them.
But once the accused – identified as Rinku Saini (32), Monu Rana alias Narendra Kumar (31) and
Gogi alias Monu (27) – realised that the two were not ferrying cattle, they took them to the Ferozepur Jhirka police station, the chargesheet says. “The officers in the station turned the victims away, citing that the case is not under the jurisdiction of Haryana Police and lack of evidence of cow smuggling,” it says.
When contacted, Nuh Superintendent of Police Varun Singla said, “We are probing the case. As and when we get the statements of more accused in the case, we will look into it. If criminal culpability is found on the part of any officer, we will take appropriate action.”
On the victims being turned away from the police station despite being injured, the SP declined to comment.
Apart from the three accused, the chargesheet lists 27 suspects, including Bajrang Dal member Monu Manesar, all of whom are currently absconding.
Chronicling the sequence of events, the chargesheet says that based on their phone locations, Junaid and Nasir were last traced around 5.20 am on February 15 to Rajasthan’s Naugawan. This was also the last tower location of Rinku Saini, the main accused.
It says that the cow vigilantes intercepted the Bolero in which Junaid and Nasir were travelling at Peeruka and assaulted them. They then called up Saini, who told them to take the two to Mundka border. This is where Saini joined the group.
“The victims were questioned again regarding alleged cow smuggling and upon finding no answers and no vehicle with cattle, they were again assaulted, this time by Saini,” says the chargesheet.
It says blood stains were found in the Scorpio that belonged to the accused, which matched with the victims’ blood samples.
According to the chargesheet, once the victims were turned away from the police station, the cow vigilantes planned to take them away, kill them and destroy all evidence.
The group split into two – one carrying the injured victims in the Scorpio and the other in the Bolero, the chargesheet says, adding that the two men were eventually set on fire along with their vehicle in Haryana’s Bhiwani.
While Saini was arrested on February 17, the other two were arrested on April 13. IPC provisions invoked against them include kidnapping, wrongful confinement, murder, causing disappearance of evidence, criminal conspiracy and rioting.
“It is clear from Saini’s questioning, WhatsApp chats and CDR (call detail records) that they had secret information about Junaid and Nasir … (travelling) … on the set route of cow smugglers… from the team of cow vigilantes in Jind, Bhiwani and Karnal, alongside the local team in Mewat. On the intervening night of February 14 and 15, as per Saini’s directions, the accused split into two groups and created a blockade to intercept the duo at Peeruka,” the chargesheet says…