“Inexplicable, how a union minister can tacitly encourage the lynching of a soldier’s father and demoralise the Indian military”


Union Minister for Culture Mahesh Sharma’s visit to pay tribute to the murder accused in Dadri lynching case has stoked new controversy.

The photo of Sharma folding his hands and paying obeisance to the dead body of Ravi, who had died in police custody of chikungunya, had gone viral on social media platforms.

Sharma, who is the local MP, also handed over a cheque of Rs 5 lakh to the family of Ravi Sisodia, a key accused in the murder of Mohammad Akhlaq in September last year.

The controversy started after the minister tweeted a picture of his visit, along with the message: “Now Bisada [the village where the lynching took place and from where the victim and the accused hailed] will be settled.”

Sharma’s tweet came even as the social media users condemned the villagers’ decision to drape a murder accused’s body with the tricolour, an honour reserved for national heroes.

His family refused to cremate him without adequate compensation from the Uttar Pradesh government, which then offered a generous amount of Rs 20 lakh despite Ravi being accused of brutally murdering an innocent person.

Speaking to The Hindu, Sharma said, “I visited the family as Bisada is part of my constituency. As the representative of the area in Parliament, it is my social commitment. The situation at Bisada was stressful; at least 1,500 policemen were deployed there as the Sisodia family was on a fast, refusing to cremate the body. Had the situation not been controlled, there could have been clashes.”

Most of the the accused in the murder of Akhlaq, father of an Indian Air Force personnel, are direct relatives of local BJP leader Sanjay Rana.

Many social media users found Sharma’s visit to Dadri on Air Force Day utterly deplorable as an overwhelming number of users were already angry on India’s national flag being insulted by BJP supporters in Dadri.

Here are some of the reactions;