A week after 50-year-old Muhammad Ikhlaq was lynched in Uttar Pradesh’s Bisada village on rumours he had eaten beef, the controrversy continued to spiral with leaders of various parties giving it communal and political colours.
Over the past few days, leaders of various political parties, from BJP’s Sangeet Som to AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi to Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal made a beeline for the house of the victim, and came out with inappropriate statements on television screens or on Twitter.
The statements range from union minister Mahesh Sharma calling it an accident to Som calling UP government the protector of cow killers to Kejriwal insinuating a collusion between the BJP and the SP.
Here are some of the quotes from the past one week.
‘Weakness of the govt’
Sangeet Som, BJP MLA and Muzaffarnagar riots accused: They have taken the accused in Muzaffarnagar riots in a plane, they have taken cow killers in a plane. Even when a person is killed, they have different set of rules. Sanjay Rahul Yadav was shot in the incident, but is anyone aware. Did the government help him,
A person like Owaisi was allowed to come here from Hyderabad. Is the Samajwadi Party government colluding with him? A person from Hyderabad comes and is able to make such statements. Is it not the weakness of the government? This government is trying to appease a particular community.
Asaduddin Owaisi, AIMIM leader: This wasn’t an attack over meat. He has been killed in the name of religion. This is a pre-planned, cold-blooded killing. It cannot be an accident. This is the thought which is against secularism, it is against the brotherhood of India. It sees Muslims with an eye of suspicion.
‘It’s an accident’
Mahesh Sharma, Union minister and local MP: It is a blot on our culture and such incidents do not have a place in a civilised society. If somebody says it was pre-planned, I don’t agree with it. It is an accident and it should be probed by CBI or state and guilty should be punished. Innocents should not be victimised in the name of investigation.
‘There’s a collusion?’
Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi chief minister: Collusion between parties in the state and Centre? What is happening is quite dangerous. PM’s silence almost a tacit approval.
Rajnath Singh, home minister : It was an unfortunate incident. But it is not proper to give communal colour to it. The incident should not be politicised.
‘Some forces active’
Akhilesh Yadav, UP chief minister: Those doing politics can level any allegation...but I want to assure everyone that Samajwadis never do politics on such things. Since SP government came to power there are some forces trying to vitiate the atmosphere.
‘Hatred weakens India’
Rahul Gandhi, Congress vice-president: Met the family of Mohd Ikhlaq and expressed my deepest condolences. It is very sad to see the trust and harmony built over decades, destroyed by the politics of hate. Hatred between our people weakens India. We have to stand together and fight those who spread it. Was touched by the desire of people in Bisada to maintain harmony.This spirit will help the country go through tough times.
‘Both communities included’
Laxmikanth Bajpai, state BJP chief : The Dadri incident is unfortunate and it cannot be supported. The Samajwadi Party government of Uttar Pradesh government is responsible for this. This fight is between one who keep pets and one who kills pets, in which both the communities are included.
‘Natural for leaders to visit family’
Nalin Kohli, BJP spokesperson: Those who are the local representatives, whether they are members of Parliament or other representatives, it is natural for them to visit the family. However, those who are going there from outside, it is evident that they must be doing it for political capital.