Bhiwani murders: Rajasthan Police find evidence against 8 accused, says role of Monu Manesar still being probed

On Wednesday, arrested accused Rinku Saini was produced before a court that sent him to police remand till February 27
Last Updated 22 February 2023, 16:55 IST

The Rajasthan Police has got concrete evidence against eight accused named in the FIR registered after the abduction and murder of two Muslim men whose charred bodies were found in Haryana's Bhiwani, officials said on Wednesday.

However, the role of Monu Manesar, a member of Bajrang Dal, in the case is still being investigated, they said, adding the Rajasthan Police is searching for the eight accused, all residents of Haryana, with the support of police from the neighbouring state.

On Wednesday, arrested accused Rinku Saini was produced before a court that sent him to police remand till February 27.

The eight accused against whom police got evidence include Anil and Srikant from Nuh, Kalu from Kaithal, Kishore and Shashikant from Karnal, Monu and Gogi from Bhiwani, and Vikas of Jind, the officials said.

"These eight are the people whose involvement has been found and established. We are searching for them. The investigation is yet not complete. There are dozen more people whose role is still being investigated," Bharatpur Range Inspector General of Police Gaurav Srivastava told PTI.

He said that the role of Monu Manesar and Lokesh Singhla is still being investigated.

"I will not name anybody until I have reached a certain level of conclusion. I am not saying Monu Manesar is innocent or accused," Srivastava said.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said that law will take its own course, asserting that the anti-social elements who work in the name of Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad should be arrested.

Nasir and Junaid, both residents of Ghatmeeka village in Bharatpur district of Rajasthan, were allegedly abducted by cow vigilantes on February 15 and their bodies were found in a charred car in Loharu in Haryana's Bhiwani the next day.

An FIR was registered on February 16 at Gopalgarh police station against five people -- Anil, Srikant, Rinku Saini, Lokesh Singhla and Monu Manesar -- on the basis of a complaint lodged by the victims' family members. Later, four more suspects' names were added to the FIR. The accused were booked under sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 365 (kidnapping), 367 (grievously hurt after kidnapping) and 368 (wrongfully keeping in confinement) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Two more IPC sections -- 302 (murder) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) -- have been added, police said.

According to the officials, the police in their investigation have found that all the accused were doing a private operation as cow vigilantes to catch alleged cattle smugglers, and in the process, they intercepted a Bolero car in which Junaid and Nasir were travelling.

The accused beat up the duo, they said, adding whether the two victims were taken to Haryana police after being beaten is still being investigated.

Meanwhile, the seized Scorpio SUV with Haryana registration number allegedly used by cow vigilantes has been found to be in the name of CEO, Jila Parishad of Jind city, the officials said.

"However, it was later found that the SUV was auctioned in 2020. Further details are being investigated," Srivastava said.

The vehicle was seized on Tuesday from Haryana based on the interrogation of arrested accused Rinku Saini in the case.

The IGP said that samples of blood and other evidence taken from the vehicle has been sent for forensic examination to match it with the DNA samples of both the deceased.

Police sources said that two teams of cow vigilantes had come to Bharatpur and abducted Junaid and Nasir.

Meanwhile, commenting on the cow vigilantes, Chief Minister Gehlot said that anti-social elements work in the garb of Bajrang Dal and VHP.

"I would say that the law will take its own course. The accused should be arrested. It is a sad and condemnable incident. These anti-social elements who work in the name of Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad... are dishonest people. The Prime Minister has himself said that these are anti-social elements," Gehlot told reporters here.

Junaid, one of the deceased, had a criminal record of cattle smuggling and five cases were registered against him at different police stations, a police officer said.

(Published 22 February 2023, 16:52 IST)

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