Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh police has said that the four men it arrested on charges of cow slaughter that led to mob violence in Bulandshahr are innocent. They added that they would move the court for their release soon, said a report in a leading daily on Wednesday. (Also read: Main Accused Bajrang DaI Leader Yogesh Raj Absconding)

The arrests of Sarfuddin, Sajid, Asif and Nanhe followed a complaint lodged by Bajrang Dal’s district convenor Yogesh Raj who alleged that seven people _ two of them were among the arrested four _ had slaughtered cows. Yogesh himself has been absconding since and is wanted for the killing of Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh and local youth, Sumit Kumar, in the ensuing violence.

Meanwhile, Sumit’s father arrived in Lucknow on Thursday to meet the Chief Minister, reported ANI.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the case found the four innocent even as three other men were arrested on Tuesday in connection with the same. Bulandshahr SSP Prabhakar Chaudhary told the daily, “We found all four persons arrested earlier are innocent and after verifying other details, we will move the court for their release.”

On Tuesday, police arrested Kaala, Nadeem and Raees and had gathered “scientific and other evidence” against them and recovered a licensed gun from Nadeem. They also claimed to have confiscated a vehicle that was used to transport beef from the men. Kaala was arrested two years ago in a cow slaughter case and is currently out on bail, said Chaudhary.

On December 3, after the remains of slaughtered animals were allegedly found near Siyana village, Bajrang Dal convenor, Yogesh Raj had named seven Muslims, claiming that he had seen them slaughter cows. Two among those named later turned out to be minors.

Later that day, a mob went on the rampage while demanding action against cow slaughter and Police Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh, the SHO of the Siyana police station and Sumit Kumar were shot dead.

So far, 18 people have been arrested in connection with the killings.