The condolence ceremony of Ravin Sisodiya, an accused in the Dadri lynching case who had died in judicial custody on October 4, was held peacefully on Wednesday. Family members said they requested those who wanted to politicise the ceremony to stay away.
“My son is dead. I don’t want any more politics. I personally requested all those who wanted to turn the condolence ceremony into a political programme to leave us alone. Only friends, relatives and acquaintances of my family attended,” Ranveer Singh Sisodiya, Ravin’s father, said.
The family of Ravin placed his photograph in front of their residence and covered it with garlands. Mats were also placed near the photograph for visitors. The ceremony was a day long and visitors arrived in small groups throughout.
In a show of communal unity in the village where communal tension has been on the rise, Muslim friends of Ravin’s family also attended the condolence ceremony.
Ravin is one of the 18 members accused of attacking the residence of Mohammad Ikhlaq on September 28, 2015. On the day, a mob of locals had attacked Ikhlaq over allegations of slaughtering a cow and storing its meat for consumption. Ikhlaq was lynched and his son Danish survived with injuries to his skull.
Fifty-year-old Taaj Mohammad, who was sitting with Ravin’s uncle and relatives at the ceremony, said that the villagers were united.
“I live in a nearby village and run a brick supply business. Almost the entire village knows me as I am one of the few suppliers in this area. I have no fear walking in any lane of the village. There is no communal tension in the area,” Mohammad said.
On the lynching, Mohammad said, “What happened last year was really unfortunate. Whoever killed him must be punished but whoever is innocent shall be released from jail.”
“In the last one year, the perception of this village has changed. Reports of communal tensions are untrue. Hindus and Muslims are friends here. They cannot and they will never turn against each other,” he said.
Besides Mohammad, Arif Jamaal, a painter-contractor from a neighbouring village had also joined the ceremony on Wednesday morning.
Ravin’s death had triggered a two-day massive protest in Bisada and the villagers had draped Ravin’s body in tricolour.
However, his family said they don’t want ‘outsiders’ to gain politically from his death. Families of the remaining 14 accused who are lodged in jail (three juveniles were released on bail earlier this year) wanted to invite people from 144 villages of Rajputs to the ceremony but their request was turned down by Ravin’s family.
The state government had announced a compensation of Rs10 lakh to Ravin’s family. Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Sardhana, Sangeet Som, who played a major role in ending the two-day protest, had announced an additional support of Rs 15 lakh to the family. However, the family is still waiting for the money.
“We hope we will get the compensation in the next four-five days,” Vikram Sisodiya, Ravin’s cousin, said.