A grieving family in Dadri

Photos by Burhaan Kinu

Burhan Kinu's images of the aftermath of Dadri lynching have won the Ramnath Goenka award for Photojournalism 2015.


n the evening of September 28, three days after the festival of Eid-ul-Zuha, 55-year-old Mohammad Ikhlaq and his son, were attacked by a mob in Uttar Pradesh’s Bisada village for the alleged offence of killing a cow and consuming its meat.

The mob dragged Ikhlaq and his son Danish, 22, outside and started beating them brutally. Ikhalq succumbed to his injuries, while Danish was wounded.

The events of that dark night in Bisada shocked the country.

Mohammad Ikhlaq’s sister stands near a bloodstained wall on the first floor of the house, from where Ikhlaq was dragged down and beaten to death by a mob late on the night of September 28.

When HT’s team arrived in Bisada village the following day, they witnessed a scene of grief and protest.

Mohammad Ikhlaq’s daughter, Shaista (C), grieves her father’s death, along with other family members at his funeral on Sepember 29.
A family member holds a passport-size photograph of Mohammad Ikhlaq.
Blood-soaked clothes of Mohammad Ikhlaq, and his mother, son and daughter, lie in a heap on the ground in their home in Bisada village on September 30.
Family members gather around Mohammad Ikhlaq’s coffin to pay their last respects at his funeral.
Mohammad Ikhlaq’s sister stands next to a broken sewing machine, used by the mob to attack her brother on the night of September 28.
The kurta-pyjama and skullcap that Mohammad Ikhlaq would wear on Fridays to offer prayers, is laid out on a cot in his home.
Asghari Begum, Mohammad Ikhlaq’s mother, was in a state of shock a day after the killing of her son.
Family members mourn the death of Mohammad Ikhlaq at Bisada.
Ikhlaq’s wife (3L) and mother wailing during his funeral on September 29.
The temple at Bisada where the announcement was made asking people to gather at Mohammad Ikhlaq’s house on September 28.

Covering moments of personal grief is never an easy reporting task. When Burhaan Kinu arrived at Ikhlaq’s residence, he was not unfamiliar with such situations, having covered conflict in Kashmir with his camera.

Keeping his editorial integrity above all, Burhaan tried his best to capture the human side of this violent story. In the days that followed the lynching, the village turned completely hostile towards the media. On one occasion, an angry mob of women snatched at Burhaan’s camera, which he managed to retrieve with great difficulty before running back to his cab.

On what inspires his work, Kinu says, “When I am holding the camera, I do not belong to any religion, caste or creed - I am just a journalist trying to bring out stories that may otherwise be ignored.”

Web Producer: Gurman Bhatia
Editor: Sahiba Chawdhary and Zehra Kazmi
Text by Gurinder Osan