The video shows Yogesh Raj saying that he was at a local police station when the violence occurred.
- Yogesh Raj said he was at a local police station when violence erupted
- Bajrang Dal activist claimed God will help clear his name in the case.
- Police said they are sparing no effort to locate and arrest Yogesh Raj.
Yogesh Raj — the main accused in the mob violence at Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr that claimed two lives on Monday — has proclaimed his innocence in the case, claiming that he was filing a complaint at a local police station when the incident occurred.
One of the victims was Subodh Kumar Singh, a police inspector.
A video clip that has gone viral on the social media shows Mr Raj, a Bajrang Dal district coordinator, claiming that he has been branded a criminal for no fault of his.
"The police are trying to project me as a repeat offender," he claims in the video, before going on to relate his version of the story. "Two incidents had occurred that day. When I heard about the first one (the discovery of five bovine carcasses in a forested area) at a nearby village, I reached the spot along with my colleagues. The police were also there. Once peace was established in the area, we went to a nearby police station to lodge a complaint. I was still there when I heard that clashes had erupted, leading to the death of a youngster and a police officer."
Mr Raj then goes on to question why Bajrang Dal activists would instigate or participate in the clashes when they had approached the police in this regard. "I was not present at the spot, and had nothing to do with the incident. I am sure that God will provide me with justice in this regard," he concludes.
Earlier today, Uttar Pradesh police chief OP Singh had claimed that there was a "big conspiracy" behind the police inspector's murder. "The incident in Bulandshahr is a big conspiracy, not a mere law-and-order issue. How did the cattle carcass reach there? We need to find out who brought it there, why, and under what circumstances," he said.
Uttar Pradesh Additional Director General of Police Anand Kumar said that the police would try to determine the age of the cow carcass to verify if it was part of a plan to vitiate the atmosphere. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered the arrest of those responsible for the cow slaughter at security review meeting this morning, but said little on Subodh Kumar Singh's murder.
It's not known where the video was shot, and by whom. Police say they are doing their best to trace Mr Raj, who is absconding.