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Dadri lynching: Indian commission report says lynching over beef rumours was premeditated

Dadri lynching: Indian commission report says lynching over beef rumours was premeditated

NEW DELHI: The lynching of a Muslim man in Dadri by a Hindutva mob strongly appeared to be the result of a pre-meditated planning” under which people were incited using a temple, India’s National Minorities Commission (NCM) has said in a report released on Wednesday.

In the report, quoted by the Press Trust of India, the minority panel also described as disturbing the irresponsible comments by politicians to make capital out of murder.

In an obvious reference to statements made by Union Minister Mahesh Sharma and some other BJP leaders following the lyching of Mohammed Iqlakh over rumours of beef eating that triggered a nation-wide outrage, the NCM said it will be “quite an understatement” to say the killing was merely an “accident as has been claimed even by some persons in authority”.

A three-member team of the commission headed by its chairman Naseem Ahmad had visited Bishada village near Dadri in Uttar Pradesh and interacted with family members of the victim, the authorities concerned and locals.

“The team feels that a crowd of large numbers appearing within minutes of an announcement from temple’s loudspeaker and at a time when most villagers claimed they were asleep seems to point to some pre-meditated planning. The facts as reported to the NCM team point strongly that the whole episode was the result of a planning in which a sacred place like temple was used for exhorting people of one community to attack a hapless family,” the report said.

Quoting district officials, the NCM noted that two more attempts had been made to incite people by spreading a rumour that a cow had been killed but police responded instantly and did not allow the situation to escalate. 50-year-old Mohammad Iqlakh, 50, was beaten to death and his 22-year-old son Danish was critically injured by a 200-strong mob on Sept 28 following rumours that the family had consumed and stored beef.

Also read: India lynching: Meat in Muslim man's fridge mutton not beef, forensic test reveals

In an apparent criticism of BJP leaders who made inflammatory comments after the incident, the NCM said such statements further vitiate the relations between different communities and this should be stopped at all cost or “things will go out of hand”.

What is more disturbing, the report says, is that “responsible persons converge at the place of any such incident and make irresponsible statements that further vitiate the relations between communities”. “All the political establishments need to counsel their cadres and sympathisers to desist from making irresponsible statements and making capital out of such outrages,” it said. The malaise of moral policing was spreading fast, especially in Western UP, it said and sought vigilance and curb on the use of social media as it was being extensively used to flare up communal passions.

Iqlakh’s family members told the NCM members that there was no tension between them and other villagers before the incident. “They claimed that the attack was sudden and vicious and that the men were particularly and brutally targeted but women were also assaulted and injured. They were however all praise for the help provided by the administration,” the report said.

Members of the majority community (Hindus) expressed regret over the shameful incident, it noted, and promised to provide security to Muslim families but Iqlakh’s brothers said it was difficult to be ensured against the backdrop of the murder.

The families of Iqlakh and his three brothers still felt vulnerable and insecure, it said. “The NCM chairman said providing security to Muslim families in the village at this time was paramount and all efforts have to be made to expedite police investigation so that the guilty are brought to book quickly. He also emphasised that all assistance to the victim’s family has to be provided whether it is legal, material or emotional,” the report said.

Published in Dawn, October 22nd, 2015

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