Lucknow: The family of a police officer killed by a mob in the Uttar Pradesh city last year has demanded that the bail granted to seven of the 33 accused should be cancelled. The men, released from jail last week, had been welcomed with garlands and chants of “Jai Shri Ram” by right-wing activists.

Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Pradhan Maurya had also washed his hands of the episode and said the BJP had nothing to do with it and that people “should not make a mountain of a molehill”.

Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh was attacked by a mob of around 400 people when he went to restore calm in the area where violence had erupted with the finding of carcasses of 25 cows. Police had then said a man armed with an axe chopped off two of his fingers and hit him on the head. Others shot him. His body was found inside his official police vehicle.

The five men accused in the murder case are still in jail. The released men are among the 33 who were accused of inciting violence.

The officer’s widow said, “The incident has been painful for me. I am feeling sad over this justice (bail to accused). On what basis were they granted bail? What good have they done in the past six months that they have been released? I have only one demand from the Chief Minister — their bail should be cancelled.”

Singh’s son added that since the beginning, his family has only demanded justice for the slain officer and that wouldn’t be possible if the accused were out on bail.

“We can set a good example by keeping such people in jail so that incidents like these don’t take place in the future,” ANI quoted him as saying.

Those released on bail on Saturday include local BJP unit chief Shikhar Agarwal and former army man Jeetu Fauji. Once the video of people welcoming the accused surfaced, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav slammed the state government. “Uttar Pradesh has seen fake encounters but an inspector died and the accused, when they came out on bail, they are being welcomed. Is this the new definition of democracy?” he asked.

However, Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya has said, “If supporters of people who have been released from jail welcome them, the government and BJP have nothing to do with it.”