AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Friday held the BJP and Samajwadi Party responsible for the lynching of a Muslim man accused of slaughtering a cow in Bisada, saying the incident was pre-meditated and part of a conspiracy to tear apart India’s secular fabric.
The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen leader met the family of 55-year-old Mohammad Ikhlaq, who was killed by a mob on Monday night following rumours that he had slaughtered a calf at his home in Bisada village on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha.
Owaisi assured Ikhlaq’s mother Asgari and daughter Shaista that he would seek a fair probe into the killing.
He alleged the lynching was a “pre-planned murder” that is being described as an accident. “The Bharatiya Janata Party is openly supporting the perpetrators who have (committed) the heinous crime of killing a person in such a way,” he said.
Owaisi was critical of Union culture minister Mahesh Sharma, a senior BJP leader who has described the lynching as an “accident”.
“Mahesh Sharma is the culture minister but he is not intellectually honest. He should unconditionally condemn the murder. He should demand strict action against the criminals,” he said.
Taking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has not yet spoken publicly about the incident, Owaisi said: “The Prime Minister tweeted to condole the death of the son of a prominent singer. That is okay. But he has no time to condole Ikhlaq’s death, who was brutally murdered. I demand a thorough probe into the matter. I support all the demands of the victim’s family.”
He added, “The Prime Minister says ‘sabka saath sabka vikas’ (together with all, development for all) but he has failed to keeps his words. The BJP is trying to play down the murder by calling it just an accident.”
The mentality of those who attacked Ikhlaq is against the country’s secularism and such people always suspect the secular credentials of Indian Muslims,Owaisi said.
“The attack was not merely (about cow slaughter) but the victims were attacked because they were Muslims,” he said.
Owaisi also targeted the Samajwadi Party government of Uttar Pradesh, saying, “Instead of arresting the attackers, the forensic test of the flesh was more important for the Samajwadi Party. I suggest a forensic test of the brains of Samajwadi Party leaders. Instead of treating Ikhlaq’s family as victims, the Samajwadi Party is treating them as accused.”
Of the 10 people named in the FIR filed by the police, six have been arrested and four are still at large.
He criticised Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan, saying he did not expect much from the Samajwadi Party leader.
“Azam Khan was minister in-charge of Muzaffarnagar. But victims of the Muzaffarnagar riots are still waiting for justice. Those accused of raping women in Muzaffarnagar riots are out on bail,” he said.
A fragile peace has held in Bisada after a large number of security personnel were deployed in the village following the lynching of Ikhlaq. The state government has ordered a probe and announced compensation of Rs 10 lakh for the victim’s family.
Sources said an animal carcass dumped in the middle of Bisada sparked the lynching, which came at a time when the BJP and its affiliates are pushing for a nationwide ban on cow slaughter.