A day after a member of India’s largest minority was brutally lynched over rumors that he had eaten beef, the local Bharatiya Janata Party leaders have had the audacity to justify the murder. According to them it was victim’s fault if he really did have beef stored in his house. The local BJP unit is threatening to hold a mahapanchayat if the accused are charged with murder instead of the less serious charge of culpable homicide. The BJP district president Thakur Singh told the Times of India, “The locals gave samples of meat to the police but they (the cops) did not take it seriously. Then some people got agitated.” Seeming to now target the family, another BJP leader, Vichtra Tomar said, “We also demand legal action against those people, who are engaged in cow slaughter as it is hurting Hindu sentiments.” Nawab Singh Nagar, Dadri’s ex-MLA also blamed the family: “If cow slaughter and its consumption is proven, they (the victim and his family) are definitely at fault”.
Denying that this was murder, Shrichand Sharma, vice-president of BJP’s western UP unit, told the Indian Express, “The man did not die because of the injuries but because of shock when someone (wrongly) told him his son was dead. This happens every day. When we hurt people’s sentiments, such clashes take place. This was not a communal riot. The Hindu community worships cows. Whose blood won’t boil if they see cow slaughter?”
Blaming the state administration, for being biased towards a “particular community”, Sharma wanted a case to be registered against the family of the victim who were attacked for alleged cow slaughter and also for the accused to be booked for culpable homicide. In order to drum up popular support for their demands, Sharma said the Bharatiya Janata Party will hold a mahapanchayat on October 11.
As appeared in today’s newspapers, the priest who made the announcement that led to the lynching, was forced to do it by a few men from the village where the victim, Mohammed Akhlaq lived.
The Samajwadi Party of Azam Khan is yet to make a statement about this killing.
By Naim Naqvi