Two days after dentist’s murder by mob, politics rears ugly head

  • Karn Pratap Singh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 27, 2016 01:13 IST
Residents gather at Janakpuri Temple to offer condolences to the family of doctor Pankaj Narang on Saturday. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)

New Krishna Park in west Delhi’s Vikaspuri where dentist Pankaj Narang was brutally murdered by a mob the night before Holi turned into a political arena on Saturday as BJP and AAP leaders blamed each other while the victim’s family begged to be left in peace.

Right-wing leaders such as Hindu Sena chief Vishnu Gupta attributed a communal angle to the murder, alleging that Muslim migrants from Bangladesh were involved. Local BJP workers accused the AAP government and its predecessor of creating slum clusters in posh localities to be tapped as vote banks.

Several AAP leaders, who accused the BJP of trying to “communalise” the incident, visited the locality and tried to meet the victim’s family. Narang’s family refused to meet any of the visiting politicians and pleaded that the death not be politicised.

While police dispelled the communal angle and said the murder appeared to have been committed in a fit of rage, right-wing leaders insisted that the role of Bangladeshi nationals in the murder be probed and a special court be set up to try the accused.

Some women social activists and members of NGOs gathered at Narang’s house and accused the AAP of resorting to “divisive and vote-bank politics”.

Relatives hosted visitors at the Narangs’ home on Saturday. After Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhayay’s visit in the morning, the AAP’s Tilak Nagar MLA Jarnail Singh arrived with his supporters and the sub-divisional magistrates of Patel Nagar and Rajouri Garden around 2pm. When Singh tried to have a word with the family, the victim’s relatives asked him to return.

As he stepped out, locals shouted slogans against the AAP government and blamed Singh and CM Arvind Kejriwal for Narang’s death. They accused Singh of ignoring social problems and crimes committed by Bangladeshi migrants living in Indira Camp-4.

Senior AAP leader Dilip Pandey and minister Satyendra Jain visited the house later amid heavy police deployment to avert a clash between workers of rival parties. The ABVP’s JNU student union secretary Saurabh Sharma demanded a judicial probe into the murder.

Patel Nagar SDM Vivek Kumar said no Bangladeshi migrant lived in the local slums. Asked if he was conducting a parallel probe, Kumar said, “We have come here to address local issues”.

Gupta of the Hindu Sena alleged that the “AAP government is silent on Narang’s murder because he was a Hindu”.

“When a Muslim is killed, the crime gets importance. Monetary compensation to such victim is also huge. But that is not the case when our Hindu brother like Dr Narang is killed by Bangladeshi nationals staying illegally in our country,” he said.

BJP president Upadhyay took to Twitter to target Kejriwal. “U rush to #Dadri w/out permission. Here u can’t find 5 min to console d family. Disgraceful hypocrisy & opportunism (Sic),” Upadhyay tweeted.

Kejriwal reacted saying he did not visit the family under advice from friends and neighbours of the victim. “Utterly shameful n disgusting dat BJP/RSS trying to communlise unfortunat murder of Dr Narang. Ppl want peace, not hatrd,” he tweeted.

Joint CP Deependra Pathak and DCP Pushpendra Kumar visited the area and assured speedy justice to the family.

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