Days after the Dadri killing, Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav said those behind the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots were involved in this case too. The conspiracy, he said, had been hatched by “three persons of a specific party” and the state will take stern action against the accused, “even if we have to sacrifice the government”.
Nine men have been arrested for the 28 September lynching- seven of them allegedly related to a local BJP leader. One of them is his son, who had allegedly instigated the mob that killed 52-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq following rumours of cow slaughter and beef consumption.
Another BJP leader, lawmaker Sangeet Som- who is also an accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots case – visited Dadri over the weekend.
Som, too, had evoked Muzaffarnagar at Dadri, in a speech delivered outside the very temple from which the call to action against cow killing had been given.
Dubbing Akhlaq’s family “cow killers”, Som said the government of Uttar Pradesh had “taken them away in an airplane, the way they did with the conspirators of the Muzaffarnagar riots”.
Som has been charged with making inflammatory speeches ahead of the 2013 riots that killed more than 60 and left hundreds of thousands homeless. He is currently out on bail.
The BJP has also come under fire from opposition parties and prominent citizens for the comments by Union minister Mahesh Sharma that were seen as provocative and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on the issue.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh, has however, advised “strongest possible action” against culprits “who try to break communal harmony in the country”.
Union minister Arun Jaitley too, had criticised the incident, saying these instances did not bring a “good name to the country”.