Cow vigilante Monu Manesar, who was booked by Rajasthan Police for the murder of two Muslim men in February and accused by some of inciting the recent violence in Nuh, was on Tuesday taken into custody by policemen, his organisation said.
Haryana Police did not confirm that the Bajrang Dal leader has been detained. But an office bearer of the group’s parent organisation, the Vishva Hindu Parishad, said he was picked up in Gurugram’s Manesar.
A video clip purportedly showed plainclothesmen taking Manesar, whose original name is Mohit Yadav, into custody.
A video clip that surfaced online before the July 31 violence had Manesar (30)saying he would participate in the Brij Mandal Jalabhishek procession and asked people to join the yatra.
Mobs attacked the VHP-led yatra in Haryana's Nuh. Six people were killed in Nuh and Gurugram in the violence. For days Nuh and adjoining districts were on edge as authorities clamped prohibitory orders and imposed restrictions on mobile internet.
Asked about the video days later, Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij said, "I have seen that video, nowhere is he instigating people to riot... he is asking people to join the yatra." The state police had said Manesar’s role in the violence will also be probed.
Earlier, on February 16, Manesar was named in a FIR lodged by Rajasthan Police after two men, Nasir (25) and Junaid (35), were found dead in a burnt car in Loharu in Haryana's Bhiwani.
The men from Rajasthan’s Bharatpur district were allegedly abducted by cow vigilantes who then crossed the state border into Haryana.
Rajasthan Police said last month that Manesar’s role in hatching a conspiracy and abetting the crime was “under active investigation".
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had also told reporters that his government would provide any assistance Rajasthan Police required to nab Manesar.
On Tuesday, Haryana VHP office bearer Varun Sharma claimed there is no case against Manesar. "Bajrang Dal workers are being harassed for no reason. We condemn this," he said.