Ikhlaq, 55 — who was lynched by a mob after rumours that he slaughtered a cow — was laid to rest at a graveyard next to a Kali temple on the outskirts of Bisada village on Wednesday. But his family, which lives amid fear and uncertainty, now wants to relocate to some other village where Muslims are in majority.
“We are feeling unsafe. Even though the police have provided security around our house but what will happen when police leaves the place. The 70-year-old trust is lost. We plans to relocate to a new place where Muslims are in majority,” said Asghari, the victim’s mother.
The family said the police had failed to arrest the culprits even 48 hours after the crime.
Asghari’s biggest grievance is that despite having lived with the neighbours for so many years, nobody came out to help them on Monday night. “My children grew up playing with the children of our Hindu neighbours. We all were very close to each other but it is surprising why no one came out to save us during the mob attack. My son was brutally killed in full public view, my grandson is battling for life in the hospital. I have lost everything,” said Asghari.
Ikhlaq’s son, who was critically injured in the incident and was admitted to Kailash Hospital, was operated upon on Wednesday evening. “The operation was successful and he is under observation for the next 72 hours. We have kept him on ventilator and his condition still remains critical,” said Dr Varun Bhargava, senior neurologist, Kailash Hospital.
Danish’s elder brother Sartaj, who is a corporal in the Indian Air Force, arrived from Chennai on Tuesday evening. “I do not know how it happened. My father was an expert in repairing electrical gadgets. He would often be summoned by villagers to fix electrical problems and for repairing other electric stuff. My family did not have any enmity with anybody.”
Local authorities are trying to restore the faith among the Muslim families. But Union minister and area MP Mahesh Sharma is yet to visit the village. The Uttar Pradesh government has announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for the deceased’s family.
District magistrate of Gautam Budh Nagar, NP Singh, said he had been convincing the Muslim families to stay put. “We have been telling the Muslim families not to leave the place as it is not a solution. Six accused have been arrested and the police are looking out for the remaining four named in the FIR. We have formed peace committees to restore harmony in the area,” he said.
But Ikhlaq’s family says that a sense of hatred had started building up in the last two years. “My father offered namaz five times a day. On his way to the mosque, he would often be teased by the village youth. They would call him Pakistani. But he never reacted because he took it as adolescence mischief. Their families were always good to us and treated us well,” said Mehraaj, Ikhlaq’s daughter.