Monu Manesar has been named as the main accused by the family of Nasir and Junaid–the two Muslim youth who were reportedly abducted and set ablaze by cow vigilantes in the Haryana region on February 16th.
The charred bodily remains of two Muslim natives of Ghatmika village in Rajasthan’s Bharatpur district were found 200 kilometres away in Haryana’s Loharu in February this year. In their FIR and the ongoing protests, the kin of the family and locals in the region held local Bajrang Dal leader -Monu Manesar- responsible for the death of Nasir and Junaid alongside regularly terrorising Muslims in the name of cow protection.
The police stated that it was investigating the role of Manesar along with others in the case–Manesar continued to be on the run.
However, almost a month later he has reactivated his YouTube channel– posting vigilante content.
With a thumbnail titled “Jab tak todenge nahi, tab tak chodenge nahi,” a video has been posted by Manesar. The description of the two minute clip states that a person named Shailendra Hindu was informed of cow smuggling and slaughter in the Mewat region of Haryana– the description accuses a Muslim youth named Shezad of cow smuggling. The thumbnail also features a gory image of a youth covered in blood.
On his Instagram page too– Manesar has been posting regular reels and videos. In one of the latest videos posted on his timeline, a group of men is seen posing with a truck whose tyres have been deflated. In yet another video, Manesar claims that a truck was chased down in order to stop those allegedly slaughtering the cow.
Manesar had briefly made his Instagram profile private following the investigation of his role in the violence, however, he has also reactivated his Instagram profile.
These videos have come to light despite the fact that Haryana government had directed districts to set up a special committee mandated by the state’s law for cow protection and will crack down on private vigilante groups.
Monu Manesar amassed huge support across the Hindutva network through his social media videos across YouTube which featured videos of highway chases, shots fired in the air and graphic, gory pictures of alleged cow traffickers.
After mass protests demanding his arrest and a crackdown on his vigilante activities, YouTube had stated that Manesar has been “indefinitely suspended” from its “YouTube Partner Program,” which meant that his channel will no longer be able to get monetary reward for his videos. The platform had also taken down nine of his videos.
Weeks before Manesar was named in the FIR pertaining to the kidnapping and killing of Nasir and Junaid, he was also accused of the killing of another youth from the region in the name of cow protection.
On Janaury 28th, 22-year-old car mechanic Waris Khan along with two others were brutally attacked by members Bajrang Dal. The family of Khan claimed that videos of a reported assault were shared on Monu Manesar’s social media page.
With regular live streams, uploading of short 5-8 minute clips of the car chases and conquests and flashing weapons, Monu Manesar amassed a massive social media sfan following. With his Facebook page comprising 80,000 followers and an Instagram following crossing 30,00 Manesar used social media as a tool to aid his journey of creating fear in the region.
He was also awarded a silverplay medal by YouTube given to content creators who cross 100,000 subscribers on the social media site.
Following the killing of Nasir and Junaid, police had claimed that it would seize Manesar’s pistol and cancel his gun licence.
Massive Mahapanchayats were held in support of Manesar by Hindutva wing groups in February this year across Haryana, moreover, the state governments and the police were also warned to take no action against Manesar.
Sumedha Pal is an award winning multimedia journalist based in Delhi.