Hapur lynching: Fear palpable in village where attack took place, locals apprehend tension during Bakri Eid
Samiuddin, 65, of Madapur was brutally assaulted, while Qasim of nearby Pilakhua was killed by a mob in Hapur district on 18 June.
Hapur: Fear is palpable in Madapur village, nearly two months after a man was allegedly lynched and another brutally assaulted by a mob over allegations of cow slaughter.
The incident occurred on 18 June in the fields near a stream, equidistant from the Muslim-majority Madapur and the Hindu-dominated Bhajeda Khurd.
Samiuddin, 65, of Madapur was brutally assaulted, while Qasim of nearby Pilakhua was killed by the mob from Bajheda alleging that the two were involved in cow slaughter.
Villagers in Madapur, under Mustafabad assembly constituency in Hapur district, claim they have become cautious of their movement outside the village since the incident.
The fear was amplified as a video appeared on social media in the past two days in which the accused persons are purportedly seen bragging about how they assaulted the duo.
Hearing a plea in the case by Samiuddin's brother, the Supreme Court on Monday directed the Meerut inspector general of police (IGP) to investigate the case.
"Clearly there is an atmosphere of fear. When they are saying this clearly in the video, it's possible that anyone could be harmed," a man, in his early thirties, said.
He added that people are now scared of venturing out of the village, even to the forests nearby.
"It's not that we don't know them or they don't know us. They know many of us by name, and where we live. Now if the administration takes any action which leads to worsening of the situation, anybody could be in danger. While we are going out of the village or returning from outside anything might happen during that time. That is dangerous," said the man, who did not wish to be named.
Asked about the Supreme Court's order on Monday for providing the victims' families with security if they so desired, the villagers said no one from the administration or police came to talk about it.
The villagers said that they were not aware of the Supreme Court order on security.
Another man, in his fifties, said that the locals were no doubt 'hesitant' to venture out. "With the kind of statements they have been made in the new video, anybody would become cautious," he said.
Asked if there is any message by the elderly in the village for the youth, he said that peace and harmony should not be breached and patience lost.
"The almighty is above and down here we have the judiciary and we are hoping for justice," he said.
"It's not that all Indians are like this. It's only a handful of people, which could be in the majority or the minority. But whoever they are, what is wrong is wrong," he said.
Another villager, alluding to the video clip, said when the accused are blatantly saying this, fear is obvious.
"When the administration is with them, we will automatically be scared," the man, in his late 60s, said, adding that Qasim kept begging the mob for water even as a policeman stood there.
"Now either the government will do us justice or the God. We are not for any confrontation," he added.
A young man from Havaal village, which falls in between Madapur and Bakheda Khurd, expressed worry about the possibility of tension during the upcoming festival of Bakri-Eid.
"We have already seen violence. Everyone is exercising caution. The festival is on 22 August. I hope nothing untoward happens," the man from Havaal, another Muslim-majority village, said.
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