The Bharatpur district police in Rajasthan state have not included Monu Manesar’s name in the latest list of suspects in the Bhiwani case, where two Muslim men were found charred to death in a four-wheeler last week.
Mohit Yadav, somewhat of a public figure popular with the name Monu Manesar (Manesar is the name of his native village in Haryana), is a coordinator for the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP).
He also leads its anti-cattle smuggling drives in the Mewat region of Haryana and Rajasthan.
Monu was named as a suspect by family of one of the deceased, but he had produced CCTV footage that he was in a hotel when the alleged murders took place.
The Bhiwani case pertains to the mysterious death of two men named Junaid and Nasir, who were both residents of Ghatmeeka village in Bharatpur, and were found dead in a half-burnt Bolero car on the morning of 16 February, in Haryana’s Bhiwani district.
The distance between Ghatmeeka village and Bhiwani is more than 200 kilometers.
On the statement of a cousin of Junaid, a first information report (FIR) was filed on 16 February at Bharatpur’s Gopalganj police station (FIR number 24/2023).
The statement said that the complainant got information from a villager that two men were found dead in Bhiwani.
Suspecting that they could be known ones, the complainant and some villagers went to Bhiwani and found the bodies.
Locals told them the men had been beaten up by a group of 8-10 people from Bajrang Dal (youth wing of VHP) who were involved in the crime.
The police booked the five identified men namely Monu Manesar, Lokesh Singla, Rinku Saini, Anil and Shrikant Pandit under IPC sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 365 (kidnapping), 367 (grievously hurt after kidnapping) and 368 (wrongfully keeping in confinement). Soon after, section 302 (murder) was invoked too.
Today (23 February), the Bharatpur police in a press conference made public a list of eight suspects, which does not include Manu and Lokesh. Local media reported it as the police giving clean chit to both.
Yesterday, the Bharatpur police from their official Twitter handle had shared the same list, which can be seen here.
The names are Anil, Kalu, Kishor, Monu (not Manesar), Vikas, Gogi and two men named Shrikant. The tweet said that that the role of Lokesh and Monu was being investigated.
On 17 February, that is a day after the FIR was filed against him, Monu Manesar from his verified Twitter account had shared a video with the caption that it was footage of a hotel showing that he stayed with his family on the day of the purported murder.
In another video circulating on social media, Monu can be seen saying, “Neither I nor any of the Bajrang Dal activists are associated with the death of two Muslim men. Whosoever has done this should be punished.”
He has a YouTube channel where he shares visuals from his ‘Gau Raksha’ operations and has more than 2,00,000 subscribers. He also has 83,000 followers on Facebook.
He is a big name for his operations against cow smugglers in the state. He is a diploma holder in a technical course.
Earlier this week, Lokesh too shared a video from his Facebook account saying, “Don’t try to paint this incident as a communal issue. We are Gau Rakshaks and not killers. I have been named in the FIR but this is not based on any fact. I was present at the court that day for personal reasons. The police can check the CCTV footage and the next day I went to the hospital as my son was unwell.”
An appeal from Swarajya
At Swarajya, we rely on our readers' support through subscriptions to sustain our media platform. Unlike larger conglomerates, we are unable to relentlessly chase advertising money — our model is largely built on your patronage.
Your support has never been more crucial. We work tirelessly to deliver 10-15 high-quality articles daily, ensuring you receive insightful content from 7 AM to 10 PM.
If you believe India's story has to be articulated in a way it has never been done before without shrugging it off, become a patron (or) subscribe now for ₹̶2̶4̶0̶0̶ ₹1999 and get 12 print issues, unlimited digital access for 1 year, a special India that is Bharat T-shirt (Offer ends soon).
We are counting on you!