The Dadri lynching of a man over beef continues to snowball into a major controversy as Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and other Aam Aadmi Party leaders were on Saturday stopped by the Uttar Pradesh police from entering the village where a 50-year-old Muslim man was killed on Tuesday.
Bisara village, where Mohammed Akhlaq lived with his family, is in Uttar Pradesh. The police and officials of the local administration, which takes orders from the CM Akhilesh Yadav-headed state government, then took Kejriwal, Sanjay Singh and Ashutosh to a guest house “far from the village”.
“We r stopped by police n admn. Mahesh Sharma n Owaisi not stopped yest. Then y me? I am most peace loving. Want 2 jst meet Ikhlak’s family,” Kejriwal tweeted, referring to the Union Minister Sharma and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi, who visited Akhlaq’s house on Friday.
“We have been escorted to a guest house far from village,” Sanjay Singh told reporters.
“Administration isn’t telling us why they have stopped us, they are escorting us to a guest house,” said Ashutosh. “We think even the PM should come here, and spread a message so that something like this never happens again.”
Dadri SP Sanjay Singh said that Kejriwal was prevented from entering the village for his own safety.
“Many locals are protesting against VIP movement [in the village]. For [the] sake of Delhi CM’s protection we escorted him to a guest house,” he said. “When the situation normalises, we will decide on future course of action.”
Akhlaq was lynched by a 200-string mob, merely on the basis of rumours that he had eaten beef and kept the meat in his house. Akhlaq’s son Danish, 22, was severely injured and has been admitted to a hospital in Noida.
Elsewhere, former Bihar CM Lalu Yadav gave an altogether different take on eating meat. “People should not eat meat at all, it is a cause of many diseases,” he said, when asked about the Dadri incident.
Earlier, on Friday, Union Minister Mahesh Sharma had visited the family of Akhlaq and also Danish in the hospital. Sharma said a CBI probe into the killing should be held.
Sharma has already courted controversy for his recent comments, on Thursday termed the lynching of a Dadri resident as a mere “accident” and said the blatant killing should also be seen as one.
“Ye sirf durghatna maana jaaye, aur ise kisi bhi tarah ka saampradaayik rang na dia jaaye (This should be considered only as an accident, and it should not be given any communal colour),” Mahesh Sharma said in a statement.
A day after India was “shamed” by the Dadri killing, India’s Vice-President Hamid Ansari said that it was the State’s responsibility to ensure the right to life for every citizen irrespective of faith or creed.
Akhlaq was allegedly dragged out of his house by the mob and lynched on Tuesday after a rumour spread in the area that he had kept beef in his house. The incident has since become a national issue.