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Communal ghost returns to UP: 50 years old man hacked to death, son severely injured over beef rumour

By Raqib Hameed Naik and M Reyaz, TwoCircles.net,

Greater Noida : The Communal Ghost has once again knocked the doors of Uttar Pradesh State after a 50 year old Muslim man was hacked to death, while his son was severely injured by a mob over allegation of slaughtering and storing beef at his home.

Mohammad Akhlaq, 50, was severely beaten before being hacked to death by a mob of at least 200 people while his son Danish was severely injured in the attack who is undergoing treatment at a hospital where his condition is stated to be critical.

Relatives mourn the killing of 50-year-old Muslim farmer Mohammad Akhlaq at his home in Bisara village. (Courtesy: AP/IE)

Akhlaq, who worked as carpenter, lived at Bisada village in Dadri, rural parts of Greater Noida, hardly 50 KM from Delhi, with his 70-year-old mother Asgari, 52-year-old wife Ikraman, son Danish, 22 , Daughter Sahsita, 16. His elder son Sartaj is Indian Air Force personnel who is currently posted in Chennai.

A magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the incident and the Uttar Pradesh Police has filed an FIR against 10 people for attacking the family, six of whom were arrested, who were all drunk, police said.

According to reports, on Monday night, September 28, a temple in Bisada village of Uttar Pradesh made an announcement over loudspeaker that a calf had been slaughtered and its carcass had been found near a transformer. The rumour was then spread using WhatsApp and other mobile technologies that also had video of carcass, locals allege.

“An announcement was made in a local temple that a cow has been slaughtered here, following which a large number of people attacked our family,” said Jaan Mohammad, a relative of the deceased Akhlaq.

Around 30 minutes after the announcement, a large mob allegedly started marching to the Akhlaq’s house and started wrecking havoc by attacking every person of his family including his septuagenarian mother.

The men were still being beaten when the police arrived, reports suggest. Six young men were arrested from the spot. They have been identified as Rupender, Vivek, Sree Om, Sandeep, Saurabh and Gaurav, all in their late 20s.

“All accused are from Bisada. They have confessed. We recovered some meat from their possession. The accused claimed it was beef that they recovered from the deceased’s home. It has come to our knowledge that the mob held a meeting in a temple in the middle of the village, where they decided to teach the deceased a lesson for slaughtering cows. The mob then rushed to the victim’s home and attacked the family,” SP (Rural) Sanjay Singh was quoted in a report Published in Times of India.

Akhlaq’s 16-year-old daughter, Shasita , who accused mob of molesting her is shattered after the gruesome Killing of her father. She narrated a heart Wrenching account to the Indian Express. She said: “They dragged my brother and father outside the room and hit them with bricks. My father was taken outside the house and beaten to death. My brother was dragged to the courtyard downstairs, where they hit him on the head and chest. He was left unconscious. They hit my grandmother on her face and tried to molest me as well. They threatened to kill me if I said a word to the police.”

According to another report in Times of India, the family members of Aqlakh have denied slaughtering any cow in their small house and claimed the story was cooked up to target them. They also claimed neither the cops reached on time nor their neighbours came to their rescue.

The attackers looked into the fridge for beef, but it was only goat’s meet which had been the part of their sacrifice from their relatives on Eid al Azha besides they also looted Jewellery , claimed Akhlaq’s daughter. The police say they have taken the meat from the refrigerator and sent it for forensic testing.

After the incident, the rumours started making rounds in villages in the vicinity and another mob went on the rampage on Tuesday morning in Ooncha Amirpur – barely 5 km from Bisada area demanding death penalty for those involved in cow slaughter. When police tried to control the mob, clash ensued in which one person identified as Rahul Yadav was shot at.

File Photo of Mohammad Akhlaq.

The security has been increased manifold in the area with additional deployments of PAC and police force from Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr and Hapur in Bisrakh area to prevent any communal flare-up.

“Around 800 armed forces, including a battalion of Provincial Armed Constabulary and police from Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr and Hapur, have been deployed in the village and the areas around it,” Kiran S, SSP, Gautam Budh Nagar told media persons earlier in the day.

Gautam Budh Nagar’s district magistrate N P Singh announced financial assistance of Rs 50,000 for the treatment of Danish.

“We have also recommended financial help for the family. We have formed peace committees to restore amity in the area. senior administration officials are coordinating with the peace committees,” Singh said.

Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh for the family of the victim besides instructing the district magistrate and senior superintendent of police, Noida to provide full protection to the family of the victim.

Communalism in its ugliest manifestation: NCM member

National Commission for Minorities has taken note of a petition filed by social activist Shahzad Poonawala. In his petition Poonawala had urged the NCM for intervention, for what he termed as “an extremely reprehensible and offensive set of actions”.

In Email response to Poonawala, NCM member Capt. Praveen Davar wrote, “NCM strongly condemns this cowardly and reprehensible attack on an innocent Muslim which also resulted in severe injury to his 23 year old son.”

He also informed that the Chairman NCM has already spoken to DM, Dadri and asked him to send a report on the incident to the NCM at the earliest. “After receipt of the report we will be taking the matter with both the Union Home Minister and Chief Minister Uttar Pradesh. It will also be discussed in the next weekly meeting of NCM,” Davar added.

He further added, “Meanwhile, we are also trying to ensure that the son of Mohd Akhlaq gets the best possible medical treatment. The NCM will also monitor the steps being taken by the District Administration to bring the perpetrators of the ghastly crime to justice. This is communalism in its ugliest manifestation and cannot, and must not, go unpunished in a secular nation.”

Politics of Polarisation:

The incident drew sharp condemnation from parties with Congress alleging that such communal incidents are bound to escalate in the run up to the Bihar elections.

“Such politics needs to be condemned. There is a growing ambiance and climate of hate politics of poison and hatred is bound to grow in the run up to the Bihar elections. Silence from top despite having great oratory is eloquent,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, adding it was shocking that such an incident is happening on the outskirts of Delhi.

The ruling Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh too attacked the BJP, saying it was using issues like beef ban to spread hate. Many see a ‘conspiracy’ behind the mobilisation of mob that laid to the lynching, connecting it with the local Panchayat election which is beginning from October 9.

“After reaping the benefits of the 2013 Muzffarnagar riots in the general elections, vested interests are once again working towards communal polarisation by making everything Hindu-Muslim issue for the political benfitis in the upcoming Panchayat elections as well as 2017 Assembly elections,” said Dr SQR Ilyas, President of the Welfare Party of India.

He pointed out that this is not a case in isolation, but only few days ago there was another case of lynching in Kanpur and there have also been reports of communal flagellation in Khushinagar, in parts of Saharanpur, Agra, etc as well as in other parts of the country. “Akhilesh Yadav led Samajwadi Government has completely failed in maintain law and order and Muzaffarnagar is an example of how the state government looked the other way while communal polarisation took place for narrow political gains,” he further said.

Zafarul Islam Khan, President of All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat (AIMMM), the umbrella body of Indian Muslim organisations, meanwhile, blamed the “cumulative efforts” of hate mongering by the Hindutva organisations, aided by silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government, on the subject for the incident, adding that since this government has taken over the number of communal incidents have tremendously risen.

“The Prime Minister thinks that only by talking big in foreign countries, he can get away with everything while maintaining infinite silence on communal speeches and hate mongering,” Dr Khan told TwoCircles.net, while drawing attention that the right wing party has been indulging in similar polarising efforts from Bihar to every state to reap political benefits out of it.