Days after a Muslim man was brutally lynched in Bisada village in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, over rumours of killing a calf and keeping the meat in his fridge, the police on Saturday arrested two men for allegedly playing a key role in the incident, reported The Times of India.
Vishal and Shivam, the two suspects, were trying to leave the city when they were caught by the police in the Noida bus depot. Vishal, who works in an advertising company in Delhi, is the son of local BJP functionary Sanjay Rana and the victim's family had mentioned the former's role in its FIR. Shivam is a student. The duo are among the four key accused in the case.
A Uttar Pradesh Homeguards constable was also detained by the police in connection to the case. Police said that he is a key conspirator in the attack against Mohammed Akhlaq, the victim, and his son Danish, reported The Indian Express. The constable, one Vinay, is said to have forced the temple priest to make the announcement about Akhlaq storing and consuming beef in his house. According to the police, the report states, Vinay had a personal conflict with Akhlaq and had been instigating a group to attack his family.
On Saturday, a mob of women reportedly chased journalists in the village and even damaged an OB van of a channel.
According to the police, a child in Bisada is said to have seen Mohammed Akhlaq dumping meat in a plastic bag near his house on Monday night. The child informed the locals. A brown calf had apparently gone missing from the village a day before Eid and the four accused concluded that the meat was from the calf which had been slaughtered.
They next went to the temple, woke up the priest and used the loudspeaker to announce that Akhlaq had slaughtered the calf and its meat had been found in his house. They even allegedly asked locals to gather in front of his house.
“Around 10.30pm, the four entered Akhlaq's house and asked to check his refrigerator. They found meat there. An argument followed and they started thrashing Akhlaq. They misbehaved with his wife, mother and daughter. They dragged him to the main road near the transformer, where others were also standing. While thrashing him, a person hit him on the head with a brick, killing him,“ an officer told TOI.
By the time the police reached the spot, the mob had dispersed and Akhlaq and his younger son Danish were found in critical condition.
As the controversy over the incident continues to rage, the comments made by some BJP leaders soon after the incident have got many criticising the party.
While Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma called the lynching an "accident"and that "some misunderstanding" could have given way to it, party leader and a former MLA Nawab Singh Nagar said “if anybody was consuming cow meat then that is wrong”, reported The New Indian Express.
Another local BJP leader Vichitra Tomar said "The police have arrested innocent people. We also demand legal action against those people, who are engaged in cow slaughter as it is hurting Hindu sentiments."