Nuh clashes: How the violence was planned
The plan to attack the Brijmandal dharmik yatra in Nuh was put together soon after a video by cow vigilante Monu Manesar surfaced on the social media on July 20, say police officers
The plan to attack the Brijmandal dharmik yatra in Nuh was put together soon after a video by cow vigilante Monu Manesar surfaced on the social media on July 20, said senior officers investigating the widespread rioting and violence reported from Nuh and Gurugram since Monday.
Local Muslim groups in Mewat were enraged over Monu openly joining religious processions even as the police was yet to pinpoint his alleged role in the killing of Junaid and Nasir -- who were kidnapped and killed on the suspicion of being cow smugglers -- by a group, which the locals believe, was led by Monu, the officers said.
A second video, by Bittu Bajrangi, a local Bajrang Dal member, daring people from Mewat to stop the yatra, only fuelled this rage, the officers said.
According to the investigators, between July 21 and 23, local groups in Nuh held meetings and laid out a plan to attack the yatra, which, they believed will be attended by Monu. People who attended these meetings formed WhatsApp groups and responsibilities were allegedly assigned to each group leader for gathering stones and glass bottles to be thrown at the procession, the investigators said, citing interrogation of people who have been arrested so far.
A local Nuh resident, who claimed to have attended one such meeting, said that arranging stones and glass bottles was easy since both were found in abundance in the area. “Local shops here sell only glass cold drink bottles. So arranging them was not a problem. People who live in the villages here were told in advance to store stones also,” the resident said on condition of anonymity.
A second resident in Singar village who too asked to remain anonymous said they had also arranged motorbikes to mobilise the mob. “We managed more than 200 bikes and painted their registration plates with black paint to avert action by the police.Nearly 3,000 glass bottles were arranged. While most of them were meant to be thrown like projectiles, some of them were also filled with petrol. These items were then sent to different groups who were going to target the procession,” the second resident said.
Senior officers from the Haryana police said Monu has been at large since Rajasthan police booked him in the abduction and murder case of the two Muslim cattle traders and another case was registered against him at Pataudi, Haryana in connection with rioting and other serious charges. They said they did not know when and where Monu Manesar shot the videos and from where they were uploaded.
“Several raids have been conducted at his house in Manesar village and other possible hideouts by Rajasthan and Haryana police in the past to arrest Monu Manesar. However, he was never found at these places. He has remained underground since February, when his name surfaced in the two murders. Our teams are still making efforts to nab him,” said a senior Haryana officer, who asked not to be named.
A third resident claimed that there was anger among the villagers in Nuh over the alleged police inaction against Monu as well as the threatening videos posted by members of Bajrang Dal. “On the day of the yatra, July 31, nearly 300 villagers had gathered on the hills surrounding the Nalhar Mahadev Mandir with crates of bottles and stones,” he said.
Narender Bijrania, Bhiwani police chief, who was given additional charge of Nuh on Monday, said an intelligence report given to the Nuh police last week indicated possibility of some unrest. “Police was well prepared but this kind of violence was not expected. Those claiming to be behind the violence will be soon arrested. Teams are conducting raids to arrest the suspects from different areas. The volume of stones and other explosives kept on the rootops of houses along the road to the temple was huge. We are corroborating the information revealed by those who have been arrested so far, and gathering evidence,” he said.