MEERUT: Hoardings featuring Bajrang Dal's Yogesh Raj, the main accused in the Bulandshahr violence, have been put up across the district, extending greetings on 'Makar Sankranti' and Republic Day.
Raj, a leader of the Hindutva outfit, was arrested on January 3 for his alleged role in the mob violence that killed a police officer and a local.
The hoardings also have photos of Satish Lodhi, Ashish Chauhan, Satendra Rajput and Vishal Tyagi, all accused in the case, along with a bigger picture of Raj, extending wishes on behalf of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Bajrang Dal.
The Bajrang Dal said the hoardings were put up by local leaders "on their own".
The outfit's western UP region co-convenor Praveen Bhati, whose photo also appears in the hoardings, said the hoardings carry pictures of local functionaries of the group and since Raj is the Bulandshahr unit convenor hence his picture is also there.
"Also, they all are accused in the case, not guilty. It is for the court to decide. Putting pictures of organisation's office bearers on hoardings is not a crime," Bhati told PTI.
He also re-iterated that the Bajrang Dal stands in support of its office-bearers accused in the case and is providing them with all legal aid.
On December 3, inspector Subodh Kumar Singh was killed in a mob violence that broke out in Siyana area after cattle carcasses were found strewn outside a village.
A local, Sumit Kumar of Chingrawathi village, was also killed in the violence.
Two cases were lodged at the Siyana police station, one for violence, in which the police had turned complainant, and the other for alleged cow slaughter, on a complaint by Raj.
Twenty seven people, including Raj, were named in the FIR, while 50 to 60 unidentified people were booked under charges of murder, attempt to murder and sedition, among others.
Raj was arrested on January 3 and was produced in a local court which had remanded him in 14-day custody. He would be again produced in the court later this week.
So far 36 people have been arrested in connection with the case.