Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday assured help to the family of Mohammad Ikhlaq, the man lynched in Bisada last week on rumours he had consumed beef, and said the attackers will be brought to justice.
Addressing a press conference, Yadav said Ikhlaq’s son Danish, who was seriously injured in the attack, will be provided treatment at a hospital chosen by the family.
“If the family wants to shift to wherever they feel safe, we will help them,” the chief minister said in response to a question on the Air Force’s proposal to shift the family to Chennai where Sartaaj, another son of Ikhlaq and an airman, is posted.
The press conference was held shortly after the family members met the chief minister at his official residence in Lucknow.
“Our government and party does not believe in such acts and in fanning communal fire....ever since this government (in UP) came to power, communal forces have been busy disturbing the harmony in the state,” Yadav said.
Yadav also increased the financial aid for the victim’s family from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 45 lakh.
Ikhlaq’s brother Afzaal, who was present at the press conference along with Yadav, said, “We want justice and hope to get it. We are thankful to the chief minister for his kind gesture.”
Yadav’s statement on the communal angle came on a day the BJP blamed his government for the Dadri lynching, saying the incident was the result of a law and order problem. Union minister Mahesh Sharma has said it was an accident, drawing sharp criticism from rivals.
“The SP government of Uttar Pradesh is responsible for this. This fight is between one who keep pets and one who kills pets, in which both the communities are included,” BJP leader Laxmikant Bajpai has said.
Meanwhile at Bisada, district magistrate NP Singh issued prohibitory order restricting visitors to Ikhlaq’s family.
Singh clarified that there was no blanket ban and those who wanted to visit Ikhlaq’s family can go with the permission of his son Sartaaj.
(With inputs from HTC in Bisada)