Bisada in Uttar Pradesh is on the edge as a panchayat of nearby villages has been called on Monday evening by families of those accused in the September 2015 lynching of a man.
The kin of the accused lodged a written complaint at a police station on June 2 against the family of Mohammad Ikhlaq – the villager who was lynched on suspicion of slaughtering a cow and eating beef. They have instead demanded a registration of an FIR of cow slaughter against Ikhlaq’s family.
The latest flashpoint follows a forensic report that said meat recovered from Ikhlaq’s fridge at the time of the lynching was beef. One of defence lawyers representing the accused had accessed the report on May 31.
“We are waiting for the police to register an FIR against the family of Ikhlaq. Now as it has been proved that he did slaughter a cow, the government must take back all the compensations they have given to Ikhlaq’s family. If our children are being tried as criminals, family of Ikhlaq should also be treated like ones,” said Sanjay Rana, father of key accused Vishal, who was formerly associated with the BJP.
Meanwhile, in the fast track court in Gautam Budh Nagar, defence lawyers demanded a statement of Ikhlaq’s daughter, Shaista, and the medical reports of Ikhlaq and his son, Danish, who was also injured in the attack. The police are likely to submit the documents on Monday in the fast track court.
The police increased their presence in the locality and asked officials of four nearby police stations to keep an eye on the situation. A company of provincial armed constabulary was also deployed as a precautionary measure. The villagers had earlier planned to call a mahapanchayat of 144 villages of Rajputs. However, the government denied permission to hold such an event.
“Only peaceful meetings are allowed in the village. We have taken all necessary steps to prevent any untoward incident,” said Dharmendra Singh, senior superintendent of police, Gautam Budh Nagar.
Following the incident on September 28, 2015, the police arrested 18 people, including three juveniles on charges of murder and assault. The issue has since spiralled into a political controversy over tolerance.