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Violence Against Muslim

2015 Dadri mob lynching

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Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_Dadri_mob_lynching

The 2015 Dadri mob lynching refers to case of mob lynching in which a mob of villagers attacked the home of 52 year old Muslim man Mohammed Akhlaq, killing him, for suspicion of slaughtering a cow.[1] The attack took place at night, on 28 September 2015 in Bisara village, near DadriUttar PradeshIndia . The mob consisting of local villagers and members of the Bhartiya Janta Party , attacked Akhlaq's house with sticks, bricks and knives, saying that they suspected of him stealing and slaughtering a cow calf. 52-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq Saifi (Ikhlaq according to some sources) died in the attack, and his son, 22-year-old Danish, was seriously injured. Later an Indian court found prima facie evidence of meat that may have been either mutton or beef, and ordered registration of a first information report against the slain Mohammed Akhlaq.[2][3][4][5][6] The government's inquiry concluded that he was not storing beef for consumption.

Events

Reason

On 28 September 2015 evening, one of Ikhlaq's neighbors allegedly accused him of stealing and slaughtering his missing calf[citation needed]. Soon a crowd gathered and insisted on searching the house of Ikhlaq for traces of slaughter. This was refused by family of suspect. Soon things took an ugly turn when two boys used the local temple's public address system and announced that the family of Mohammad Akhlaq had killed the cow calf and consumed its meat on Eid-ul-Adha.[8][9] Cows are sacred in Hinduism and in most Indian states including Uttar Pradesh, killing cows is unlawful (though the killing of bulls and buffaloes is allowed).[10] Later, the police said that this was the cause of the outrage of citizens.

Attack

Hindu Mob carrying sticks arrived at Mohammad Akhlaq's house at around 10:30pm. The family had finished dinner and were about to go to sleep. Akhlaq and his son Danish were already asleep. The mob woke them and accused them of consuming beef. They found some meat in the refrigerator and seized it, but the family insisted it was mutton. The mob dragged the entire family outside and Akhlaq and Danish were repeatedly kicked, hit with bricks and stabbed. The family's neighbours tried to stop the mob but were not able to. The police were called and arrived an hour later. By then, Akhlaq was dead and Danish was badly injured.[4][8][9][13]

The family had been living in the village for about the 70 years. The family consisted of Akhlaq, 52; his brother Jan Mohammad Saifi, 42; mother Asgari Begum, 82; wife Ikram; son Danish, 22; and daughter Sajida.[4][14][15] Akhlaq's elder son, Mohammad Sartaj, 27, works as a corporal-ranked technician in the Indian Air Force and was in Chennai at the time of attack.

Aftermath and arrests

The police arrested the temple's priest and his assistant for questioning. A first information report (FIR) was filed naming ten of the attackers based on the testimony of the family members. The FIR contained charges under Sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly), 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 458 (house-breaking), and 504 (intentional insult with intent to breach of the peace) of the Indian Penal Code. Six of them were found and arrested by 1 October. On 1 October, the number of arrests went to eight. The arrests were protested by locals. The protesters set fire on vehicles and vandalised shops. The police had to fire in the air to disperse them. One person was injured in the protests.[8][11][13] Personnel from Uttar Pradesh Provincial Armed Constabulary and the Rapid Action Force were deployed in the village.[17]

The temple priest denied involvement. He said that he was forced to make the announcement by some youngsters. The priest said that he had only announced that a cow had been killed and asked people to gather near the temple.[11] On 3 October, a man named Vishal, the son of a local BJP leader Sanjay Rana, was arrested in connection to the case.[18] By 4 October, Danish had spent 4 days in the Intensive Care Unit and undergone two brain surgeries. He had been admitted in Kailash Hospital, Greater Noida.[16] Some female relatives of the arrested persons attacked journalists and pelted stones at media vans. They claimed that these persons had been wrongly arrested and the media was covering only the victim's story.[19][20]

On 5 October, Uttar Pradesh Police asked microblogging site Twitter to remove certain text and photographs related to the incident, which it considered provocative.[21][22] The family left Bisara village and moved to an Indian Air Force zone in Delhi on 6 October.[23][24]

Subsequently, 19 people were charged under the case, including Vishal Singh Rana (the son of a local small time BJP party worker Sanjay Rana) and Vishal, his friend. 16 of the accused were subsequently invited by Uttar Pardesh's chief minister Adityanath to be present at his election rallies.

Reactions

The lynching was followed by political reactions on all sides, with the BJP trying to distance itself from direct responsibility for the killings, yet at the same time taking advantage of them in some rallies, and other parties like Congress and BSP trying to gain political mileage from the incident. The then Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav announced as ex-gratia of 1,000,000 for the family on 30 September 2015. He also directed the District Magistrate and Senior Superintendent of Police of Noida to provide police protection to the family.[25] On 3 October 2015, the ex-gratia was raised to 2,000,000.[26] Mohammad Akhlaq's elder son Mohammad Sartaj, a technician in the Indian Air Force, said that he has decided to move the family out of Dadri.[27] However, fearing for their safety, the family shifted to Delhi on 6 Oct 2015.

Home Minister and former Chief Minister of Uttar PradeshRajnath Singh, appealed to people to maintain communal harmony and promised strict action against those try to disrupt it.[28] Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said such incidents affect the image of the nation and people should rise above them.[29] Mahesh Sharma, a BJP Union Minister, said that the lynching was not planned but an unfortunate accident. However, he promised justice to the family.[30] Another BJP leader Tarun Vijay said that this incident may derail the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's agenda of development. He asked Hindus to look after cows instead of resorting to violence. He also pointed to the issues of beef export and stray cows consuming plastic from garbage.[31] Another BJP leader, Sakshi Maharaj criticised the exgratia amount and said that if a Hindu had been killed his family would have received much less.[32]

Asaduddin Owaisi, leader of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, criticized the police's decision to test the meat, calling this an irrelevance in light of the violent attack. He also criticized the ruling party of the state for inaction and the local BJP leaders for seeking to defending the attackers.[33]

Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha called the incident unfortunate and said that they were trying to move the family to an Indian Air Force area to help and protect them.[34] Former BiharChief Minister and leader of RJD political party Lalu Yadav said that poor people and Indian expatriates eat beef and that there was no biological difference between beef and goat. He added that eating meat and beef was not good for health.[35] However he later he retracted his statements, admitting he had spoken without any thought.[36] Former Supreme Court Justice Markandey Katju said that he eats beef and does not consider cows to be sacred. He called for fast justice and strict punishment for the attackers.[37][38]

After the murder of Akhlaq, BJP legislator Raja Singh posted on Twitter sections from the Hindu text the Vedas that allegedly mandated killing people who slaughter cows. They were subsequently found to be lies.[39]

On 6 October 2015, author Nayantara Sahgal returned her Sahitya Akademi award in protest of the growing intolerance in the country. She pointed to the recent murders of M. M. KalburgiNarendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare, and called Dadri lynching her last straw.[40][41] Later, Ashok Vajpeyi and Rahman Abbas also returned their awards.[42]

On 7 October 2015, Azam Khan, a cabinet minister in the Government of Uttar Pradesh, said that he will raise the Dadri lynching issue at United Nations.[43] Also on 7 October 2015, President of India Pranab Mukherjee said that diversity, tolerance and plurality are the core of Indian civilisation and they kept India united for centuries.[44]

Prime Minister of IndiaNarendra Modi, referencing the President's speech, said in a public rally on 8 October 2015 to follow President's message and ignore statements of communal political leaders, urging people to stay united. He stated, "Hindus and Muslims should fight against poverty and not against each other".[45][46]

Prime Minister of IndiaNarendra Modi, in a speech on 15 October, has termed the incident dukhad [saddening]. But he questioned the logic behind blaming the Centre for it. Mr. Modi also termed undesirable the opposition to Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali’s concert in Mumbai by the Shiv Sena, but sought to know how the Centre was responsible for it.[47] Modi was criticized for waiting 10 days before speaking out against the killing.

Request to close all inquiries

The relatives of Mohammad Akhlaq met the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav in the first week of December 2015. They expressed satisfaction on the monetary support they received and the progress of the case inquiry. At the same time, they requested the Chief Minister to close all further inquiries into the case.

FIR against murdered and his kin

9 July 2016, judicial magistrate Vijay Kumar at the Surajpur district court issued direction under section 156 (3), on a petition filed by a Bisara resident against murdered Mohammad Ikhlaq and his kin for alleged cow slaughter. On the night of September 28, police collected a sample of the meat from Akhlaq's house in Bisada and sent it to a vet for preliminary testing. These tests suggested it was mutton, but the police sent the sample to another lab in Mathura for a conclusive test. A top government official then stated that the report from Mathura also confirmed that it was mutton.[50] The petitioner to Surajpur district court had based his plea on a report by a forensic lab in Mathura that a meat sample taken from the site of the attack allegedly belonged to “a cow or its progeny”.[51] However, the government's inquiry confirmed that he was not storing beef for consumption.[7] Regardless, whether the meat found in Akhlaq's home was mutton or beef has no bearing on the crime of lynching.


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