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Sombre Eid in Nuh as villagers ‘await justice’ for victims of police firing, lynching

Sahib Khan was shot dead allegedly during a raid by Uttarakhand and Haryana Police, who were looking for a suspected gangster, at Patakpur village in Punhana area of Nuh district on August 7. Rakbar Khan, who belonged to Kolgaon village in the same district, was allegedly lynched in Rajasthan on July 20 on suspicion of being a cow smuggler.

gurgaon Updated: Aug 22, 2018 04:03 IST
Sonali Verma
Sonali Verma
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
Eid,Nuh,justice
Representatives of Kolgaon, Punhana and other adjoining villages met on Tuesday evening and unanimously decided that after the morning prayers on Wednesday, there would be a protest by 36 communities of 400 villages at the Eidgah against ‘rising hate’ in the area.(HT File Photo)

Residents of at least 20 villages in Nuh district have decided to not celebrate Eid on Wednesday after the killing of two locals over a period of one month.

Thirty-year-old Sahib Khan, a truck driver, was shot dead allegedly during a raid by the teams of Uttarakhand and Haryana Police, who were looking for a suspected gangster, at Patakpur village in Punhana area of Nuh district on August 7.

Rakbar Khan, 32, who belonged to Kolgaon village in the same district, was allegedly lynched in Rajasthan on July 20 on suspicion of being a cow smuggler.

Representatives of Kolgaon, Punhana and other adjoining villages met on Tuesday evening and unanimously decided that after the morning prayers on Wednesday, there would be a protest by 36 communities of 400 villages at the Eidgah against ‘rising hate’ in the area.

“There is an atmosphere of anger and sadness in our villages. No one – from the young to the old – is in celebratory mood after the recent killings,” said Liyakat Ali, Rakbar’s neighbour. He said that there would be no feast, no sacrifices or any other celebrations.

Attendees of Tuesday’s meeting said they would continue to fight for justice against all odds.

“My late brother Sahib would buy new clothes for the whole family every Eid,” said 26-year-old Sajid Khan, brother of Sahib. He said since Sahib was the sole breadwinner in the family, there is no money and no one left to buy new clothes anymore.

Rakbar too was the only breadwinner and according to his neighbours, Eid was a festival of reunion for them as he lived away from his family most of the times. “There’s no one left to earn anymore. How will they celebrate Eid?” said Liyakat Ali.

“The entire district of Mewat (Nuh) is in mourning and hungry for justice. We demand the arrest of the policeman responsible for Sahib’s death and will not rest till such time justice is delivered. We will fight for our stand in the court, if need be,” said Sajid, who buried his brother in the village on Tuesday, almost two weeks after the encounter.

According to Sajid, the villagers had sworn they won’t bury his brother till the culprit was put behind bars, but, even as justice was delayed, they couldn’t wait any longer.

Last Sunday, residents of Nuh turned up in their thousands for a day-long dharna at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi to demand justice for Sahib. Mamman Khan, a Congress leader from Nuh, who was present in the protest, said that the crowd had decided then that they won’t sacrifice goats or cook any delicacies this Eid to protest the killing.

“Eid prayers would be offered, but there will be no celebration till the bereaved families get justice,” Khan said.

First Published: Aug 22, 2018 04:03 IST