Cow vigilante Bittu Bajrangi’s brother faked assault: Police - Hindustan Times

Cow vigilante Bittu Bajrangi’s brother faked assault: Police

Dec 22, 2023 04:50 AM IST

Police are investigating if Mahesh Panchal and Bajrangi lodged a “false complaint” to frame another suspected cow smuggler

A week after the brother of cow vigilante Bittu Bajrangi alleged that he was attacked and set afire by seven unidentified men, the Faridabad Police on Thursday said that he had suffered burns after allegedly falling into a “bonfire”, and that there was no proof to suggest that his injuries were sustained in a murder attempt.

Bittu Bajrangi has denied the police charge. (HT Archive)
Bittu Bajrangi has denied the police charge. (HT Archive)

Read here: Cow vigilante Bittu Bajrangi’s brother set afire, battling for life with 60% burns

Senior police officers aware of the matter said that it appears that Mahesh Panchal, who suffered 60% burns, and Bajrangi lodged a “false complaint” to frame a suspected cow smuggler.

The officers said that Panchal complained to the police on December 14 that seven people sprinkled petrol on him before setting him on fire near Baba Mandi in Faridabad.

Police registered a case on attempt to murder charges following the complaint, and launched an investigation.

On December 15, the Faridabad Police also formed a special investigation team (SIT), questioned more than 20 people, and scanned CCTV footage from the spot where the alleged crime had occurred.

Sube Singh, spokesperson for the Faridabad Police, said two CCTV cameras installed near the spot did not capture any assault on Panchal.

“The forensic team did not find any chemical substance, alcohol, petrol or diesel at the spot. The allegations mentioned in the complaint did not match with the footage and outcome of the forensic probe filed by the SIT,” Singh said.

Bajrangi, meanwhile, denied the police allegations. “The investigation is not over and no one has informed us that the case was fake. My brother has suffered severe burn injuries. He has been assaulted and there was an attempt to kill him. Why will we fabricate stories to implicate someone?” he said. The cow vigilante has now called a press conference on Friday to refute the police’s charges.

A second senior police officer, who asked not to be named, said that Panchal had claimed that a police van visited the spot after his complaint; however, no police vehicle had gone there.

“No car was present on the spot. Shopkeepers and local residents also said that they did not hear any noise about any assault or fire,” he said.

“Panchal has also been changing statements. He was accusing a person who was not even present on the spot. We have verified all facts. It seems the complaint was fabricated,” the second officer said.

Read here: Bittu Bajrangi, arrested on Aug 15 for Nuh violence, gets bail

Bajrangi, who heads the Goarakshak Bajrang Force, was booked for rioting, assault, brandishing weapons, and dacoity in connection with the communal violence in July.

He was among 292 people arrested for the incident in which he and Monu Manesar, were accused of releasing provocative videos to inflame communal tensions. Bajrangi is out on bail.

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