IAF chief Arup Raha on Saturday expressed grief at the lynching of an airman’s father at Bisada in Uttar Pradesh, saying the victim’s family will soon be relocated to an air force facility.
“Whatever protection is required, we are giving it to him. We are trying to move the family to some air force area. We are with him and our people are there to assist the family,” the air chief marshal told a news conference in Delhi ahead of Air Force Day which is observed on October 8.
“It is unfortunate that a serving airman’s family has been affected resulting in a death. Our senior level officers are in touch with the family.”
The victim’s family wanted to be moved to an air force area and they “will be relocated soon”, Raha said.
In an incident that drew nationwide outrage, 50-year-old Mohammad Ikhlaq was beaten to death and his 22-year-old son Danish critically injured when a mob broke into their home in Bisada late on Monday night, accusing them of butchering a calf and eating beef.
Mohammad Sartaj, the elder son of Ikhlaq, is a technician in the Indian Air Force currently posted in Chennai. Sartaj has told the media his family was patriotic and he was shocked that no one had protected them when they were attacked.
He also said he intended to shift his family from Bisada as they did not feel safe in the village.
In a letter reportedly sent to the Uttar Pradesh government, Sartaj had requested authorities to stop the political row over his father’s death. He also requested the government to stop politicians from visiting his home as his family did not want any intrusions at a time of grief.
The IAF chief described the attack on Ikhlaq as an “unfortunate incident” that had affected a serving air force personnel’s family. He said he intended to meet Sartaj.
“I am also planning to meet the air warrior (Sartaj) and extend all support to look after him and his family’s welfare,” Raha said.
Referring to Sartaj’s request to the Uttar Pradesh government, Raha said: “Writing to the state government or the central government in this matter is superfluous because everybody has understood that such things cannot be accepted. Adequate actions are being taken by the governments at both the levels.”
The welfare of armed forces personnel is of paramount importance, Raha added.
(With inputs from ANI)