Police in Uttar Pradesh’s Bisada, where a Muslim man was lynched last year, are investigating a letter that surfaced in the village warning that all jailed accused and the father of one of the men will be killed.
Villagers found the letter pasted on a wall near the house of Mohammad Ikhlaq around 20 days back. They approached the police who registered a case against unidentified persons.
Ikhlaq was lynched while his son Danish was injured when a mob attacked him over allegations of slaughtering a cow and storing its meat for consumption. The incident triggered a massive outrage across the country with many prominent personalities returning their awards as a token of protest.
Eighteen locals, including three juveniles, were arrested in the case.
Police sent the letter to experts but say the writing did not match any of the suspects’ handwriting. “The matter is under investigation,” Pradeep Kumar Singh, in charge of Jarcha police station, said.
Sources, however, said that the incident looks suspicious as nobody can roam around in the village without being noticed.
“The village communities are tightly knitted. No outsider can go and paste a letter on the wall that is near the residence of many of the accused who are in jail. Also, the writer wrote his name — Islamuddin — at the end of the letter, which is very unusual,” a police officer investigating the case said.
Sources also said that since Ikhlaq’s family and their lawyer Yusuf Saifi were given police protection, the family of some of the accused are also vying to get police protection citing threats to their lives.
“No police protection can be given to somebody without thorough investigation. The authenticity of the letter has not been proved yet,” Singh said.
Rana, a former BJP worker whose son is behind the bars over allegations of lynching Ikhlaq, however, accused the police of not taking his complaints ‘seriously’.
“It has been quite some time but the police did nothing. If they threaten to kill me then what shall I do? Shouldn’t I seek police’s help? The problem is that the police has a prejudice against us. If something happens to me or my family, the police and state government will be responsible for that,” said Rana.
The custodial death of one of the murder accused recently sparked tension at Bisada and a police team is still deployed near the mosque in the village.
Ravin Sisodia, 22, died on October 4 at a Delhi hospital due to multiple organ failure under judicial custody.