No mention of beef in FIR in the Dadri lynching case: Political slugfest continues

The lynching of a man in Dadri over eating beef earlier this week may have turned into a high decibel game of political point-scoring involving the Samajwadi Party and the BJP, but the police are not yet certain about what exactly led to the brutal killing.

Ratan Mani Lal October 02, 2015 20:46:36 IST
No mention of beef in FIR in the Dadri lynching case: Political slugfest continues

The lynching of a man in Dadri over eating beef earlier this week may have turned into a high decibel game of political point-scoring involving the Samajwadi Party and the BJP, but the police are not yet certain about what exactly led to the brutal killing.

The police probing all angles, especially whether the mob action was pre-planned. Conflict between communities is also being looked into even though any personal enmity angle does not appear likely.

The FIR lodged in the case has made no mention of beef even though it was cow slaughter and reported recovery of beef from the premises of the deceased Mohammad Akhlaq that led to the ghastly incident. Akhlaq (50) and his 22-year-old son Danish, residents of Bisahada village near Greater Noida in Gautam Buddha Nagar district, were thrashed by a mob of 200 after rumours spread that the victims were engaged in cow slaughter and were allegedly consuming beef. Akhlaq later died in hospital while his son continues to be in a critical condition.

The police have claimed that cow slaughter was just an allegation by the assailants. They have sent the pieces of meat found in the house of the deceased for analysis. The FIR has been lodged under IPC sections 147 (Punishment for rioting), 148 (Rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly), 302 (murder), 307 (Attempt to murder), 458 (house-trespass or house-breaking), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace).

No mention of beef in FIR in the Dadri lynching case Political slugfest continues

Relatives mourn the killing of 52-year-old Muslim farmer Mohammad Akhlaq at his home. AP

The police and the victims’ family members believe that the attack was not carried out by any organisation. Akhlaq’s brother, Zameel, said Hindus and Muslims had been living together for years in peace. A deputy superintendent of police Anurag Singh was quoted by a newspaper as saying that the police had not found the involvement of any religious outfit in the matter.

The population of the village comprises Rajputs, Muslims and Prajapanti (OBC) community. While no organised group as such - politicial or community - is believed to be behind the mob attack, the police have found that groups of unemployed young men have been causing much tension in the area. These young men have been known to be ready for show of strength and are quick to mobilise people for political rallies.

Many persons have left the village out of fear of reprisal attacks while many more said they will move out of the village if the situation took a turn for the worse, even as the police and district officers have been trying to dissuade them from doing so.

Additional police personnel were deployed near the village that is a few kilometers away from the NTPC Dadri power plant. The district administration and some community leaders are reported to be making efforts to restore peace and confidence among the residents. PAC and additional police force from Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr and Hapur has been deployed in the area as attempts are being made to give a communal colour to the incident.

The area falls in the National Capital Region (NCR) and is on the outskirts of Noida and Greater Noida. Interspersed with industries and business establishments in the area, there are villages and clusters of rural inhabitation with a high crime rate. The region has pockets dominated alternately by Hindus and Muslims, but a sense of distrust has been building up between the communities for the last couple of years.

It is learnt that initial police investigation indicated that an announcement was made from a local temple that the perpetrators of cow slaughter and beef consumption had been identified. The superintendent of police (rural) Sanjay Singh was quoted as saying that the temple priest Swami Parmanand who made the announcement and two men who had forced the priest to do so appeared to be key links to the subsequent events.

Dadri and neighbouring areas, it is learnt, have been rife with rumours of an increase in cases of cow slaughter and members of the Hindu community had often been protesting at it. It is learnt that a few days prior to the incident, a calf had gone missing from the house of one of the residents, and its owners suspected that it had been caught for slaughtering. On the day of the incident, according to locals, a piece of meat fell out of a bag that Akhlaq was carrying to his house. It was found near his house which led to rumours that Akhlaq was carrying beef for consumption. However, the deceased’s distraught daughter Sajida claimed that the piece of meat was not beef.

The FIR was lodged against ten named and more than 100 unidentified persons. Six of those named were arrested. However, there was widespread protest against the arrests with the locals complaining that the police had rounded up men who were not connected with the incident in any way. An irate mob also blocked roads, threw stones at police personnel and set fire to a police vehicle.

A local BJP leader Srichand Sharma was quoted in a local newspaper as saying that the arrests in the case had caused great resentment, against which the party would hold a mahapanchayat on October 11. However, the state BJP president Laxmikant Bajpai has said that the party had nothing to do with the so-called mahapanchayat. He said in a statement that the law would take its own course in the case which he described as “unfortunate.”

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