LUCKNOW: Jeetendra Malik alias Jeetu Fauji, the jawan of 22 Rashtriya Rifles and wanted in connection with Bulandshahr violence, was handed over to UP Special Task Force (STF) by the Army officials in Meerut on Saturday. Later, past midnight, the jawan was formally arrested by the UP police and put into interrogation immediately.
“We’ve arrested jawan Jeetendra Malik. The Army handed over his custody to us at 12:50 am today (Sunday). Preliminary interrogation has been done,” said Abhishek Singh, senior superintendent of police, Special Task Force.
The army soldier is one among 27 named accused of violence, rioting, vandalism and killing police inspector Subodh Kumar Singh in Bulandsahr on last Monday over alleged cow slaughter and recovery of trolley load of cow carcasses. A local youth named Sumit Kumar was also killed.
A six-member team of STF had gone to Sopore to take custody of Jeetu but the Army formally handed over the custody in Meerut late on Saturday night. Jeetu was kept at the local STF office in Meerut
Police lines and was grilled for several hours before he was finally presented in front of the media during wee hours of Sunday morning. He was taken to Bulandshahr by the STF team and subsequently handed over to the special investigation team (SIT) investigating the reasons and conditions responsible for the Monday mob frenzy which claimed two lives.
The SIT has been mandated to dig out the truth of the killing of inspector Subodh Kumar Singh. “He (Malik) accepted that he was present at the site of trouble when the crowd started gathering. Prima facie, it has been found true. It’s not yet ascertained if he is the one who shot the inspector or Sumit. He said he went there with villagers, but denied indulging in stone pelting along with the crowd. Forensic (examination) of his mobile will be done,” said SSP Singh. However, he added during a media briefing that they had no direct evidence to link army man Jitendra Malik with the murder of inspector Subodh Kumar Singh.
After scanning video recordings, the state police began searching for the soldier, who is reportedly seen firing during the Bulandshahr violence that led to the death of the police inspector and the youth. A senior police officer privy to the probe confirmed that in one of the videos, Jeetu, a resident of Bulandshahr, can be seen firing, but his involvement in the killings was yet to be ascertained.