Last year’s Bulandshahr violence accused , were released on bail on Saturday. The seven accused Rajiv, Rohit, Raghav, Saurav, Jitendra Malik, Rajkumar and Shikhar Agarwal were given hero’s welcome by their supporters on their release.

They are accused in a case of mob violence that took place on December 3 after a cow carcass was found in a sugarcane field near Mahav village of Siyana , which led the death of Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh, the station house officer of Siyana, and local youth, Sumit Kumar and Chingrawati police picket was set on fire. Police booked 27 named and more than 60 unnamed in the violence under more than a dozen IPC sections including murder, attempt to murder, dacoity, grievous hurt to public servant and sedition.

Social media was abuzz with the shared video, which shows that the seven accused were garlanded and greeted with hugs and chanting of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ and ‘Vande Mataram’.  Later, the supporters also threw a “welcome party” in “honour” of the seven men.

One of the accused out on bail, Shikhar Agarwal is a member of Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) and Jitendra Malik is an Army personnel from 22 Rashtriya Rifles and posted in Sopore, Jammu and Kashmir. He was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (UP STF) on December 9 after his name came up as the main conspirator who killed inspector Subodh Kumar Singh. But, he was not chargesheeted for the murder. Agarwal was arrested in January this year from Hapur district after he remained absconding for over a month.

Senior Superintendent of Police of Bulandshahr Santosh Kumar Singh said, “A total of 10 people have been granted bail, out of which seven were released. The accused granted bail were booked for rioting. None of the accused booked for murder has been granted bail.”

Sanjay Sharma, Malik’s advocate said, “We had approached the High Court to seek relief following which seven accused were granted bail. Jitendra Malik has also reported to the Army base in Meerut’s Babugarh area after his release.”

There have numerous cases of mob lynching across India with the majority being reported from Uttar Pradesh.