The Uttar Pradesh police sees a "conspiracy" behind the Bulandshahr mob violence and is investigating why cow carcasses were found on December 3, three days ahead of the anniversary of the demolition of the Babri mosque, says the state's police chief.
It was not merely a law and order issue, said Director General of Police (DGP) O P Singh, two days after Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh and 20-year-old Sumit Kumar, were killed in the mob violence that broke out after carcasses were found strewn in a jungle.
With lakhs of people collected for a 'Tabligi Ijtema' (congregation of Muslims) 40 km from Mahaw village where the skeletal remains were found, police also succeeded in containing what could have been a communal riot, he said.
"We are not only seeing it as a law and order issue. It was a conspiracy and we are probing why the particular day - December 3 - and place on which the cows were slaughtered and their remains spread in the field were selected," Singh told PTI.
He said two FIRs have been filed.
"One FIR is about cow slaughter and the other is on the violence. The probe is on on both the matters," he said.
Those named in the FIRs will not be spared, the DGP declared.
"We have asked the Special Task Force (STF) to identify those behind this incident as those behind the conspiracy should be booked," he said.
Asked whether it was an attempt to vitiate the atmosphere ahead of the demolition anniversary, the DGP said, "We are looking at all angles, including the selection of place (for cow slaughter) and timing of the incident."
"Police succeeded in containing what could have been a communal riot. The situation could have been worse if local police not responded timely as lakhs of people were present at the venue of 'Tabligi Ijtema', which was about 40 km from the spot," he said.
Though the congregation ended on December 2, over 600,000 people were present on December 3 when the violence broke out, he said.
Amid a political furore over the killing of a police inspector and a youth in Bulandshahr in a case of mob violence, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday night ordered a thorough probe. Directions were issued for strict action against those involved in the alleged slaughter of cows.
The DGP said he directed officials for a thorough probe in the incident and instructed them to take stringent action against people involved in cow slaughter.
"The incident is part of a bigger conspiracy, and hence all those directly or indirectly related to cow slaughter should be arrested in a time-bound manner," Adityanath said.
The chief minister has faced flak from opposition parties for attending a laser show in Gorakhpur when the violence broke out in Bulandshahr on Monday. The Opposition said such incidents are part of attempts to incite communal unrest in the society ahead of polls.