[In shock and grief, woman family members of Mohammad Akhlaque who was dragged out of his house and beaten to death by a mob. Photo: Suhas Munshi/ Catch News]
Dadri (Uttar Pradesh): Even as the lynching of a 50-year-old Muslim man by an errant mob following rumors that he ate beef stirred nationwide outrage, a former BJP MLA and villagers showed no remorse, instead they are trying to justify the inhuman incident which according to them was done out of 'excitement' by 'innocent children'.
According to the local media reports, Nawab Singh Nagar, a former BJP MLA from Dadri in Uttar Prades, where the killing took place Monday night, appeared to justify the killing and described as "innocent children" the young men arrested after the incident.
Mohammad Akhlaque was dragged out of his house in Greater Noida's Bishara village near New Delhi before along with his 21-year-old son Danish being beaten to death on Monday night. Danish is in a critical condition since then.
Bishara, a village in the Dadri district of UP, on the outskirts of Delhi, has a population of about 3,000, and is dominated by Thakurs. The community is bound by a close feeling of kinship and no one is willing to speak out against their kinsmen.
The village also has about a hundred Muslims. The villages adjoining Bishara have similar demographics. Two of the villages are Gujjar dominated, but even there Muslims are in a vulnerable minority.
Eyewitnesses and relatives said an announcement was made at a local temple that a cow has been slaughtered here, following which a large number of people attacked the victims and their family. As the rumours spread, villagers blocked a highway in Bisrakh area demanding death penalty for those involved in the slaughter.
Superintendent of police (rural) Sanjay Singh said an FIR had been filed against 10 people, six of whom were nabbed and put behind bars. They have been identified as Rupender, Vivek, Sree Om, Sandeep, Saurabh and Gaurav, all in their late 20s.
Nagar, who visited the family of Akhlaque - dragged out of his house before being beaten to death, described what happened as sad but said, "If anybody was consuming cow meat then that is wrong."
Stating that 'there was no conspiracy' and that the lynching was because of 'excitement' on the part of the mob, Nagar said the accused arrested by the police are "innocent kids" and "children barely 10-15 years old".
Villagers too echoed what the former BJP legislator said and accused the police of framing the accused in the case.
"What wrong did those people (who murdered Akhlaq) do? Why is the police after these youngsters? Everyone was present, let the police arrest everyone. How can Muslims eat cows and get away with it?" asked Vivek Sisodia, from the huddle that had gathered near the accused's house, according to Catch News.
Pawan Sisodia, another villager, said, "There is nothing wrong with what happened. The Muslim appeasing party needs to go away from Uttar Pradesh. Things will automatically improve."
Incidentally, Mohammad Akhlaque - the Muslim man killed by the Hindu mob, was father of Mohammad Sartaj (24), an engineer with the Air Force.