They killed my brother brutally and mercilessly because he happened to be a Muslim and this is obvious from the video of his lynching – Qasim’s brother
GHAZANFAR ABBAS | Caravan Daily
NEW DELHI: The family of cattle trader Mohammad Qasim, who was brutally lynched allegedly for cow theft on Monday in Hapur district of Uttar Pradesh, addressed the national media here on Friday and demanded arrest of all culprits and speedy justice in the case.
“They (attackers) killed my brother brutally and mercilessly because he happened to be a Muslim and this is obvious from the video of his lynching. They were so merciless that they even denied water to my thirsty brother and hurled abusive language at him when he was dying. As we got to know about it, we reached the police station first and then the hospital where we found him lying dead,” said Qasim’s younger brother Mohammad Nadeem while addressing a press conference at the Press Club of India.
“Police had assured arrest of all culprits but only two have been arrested. Our brother was killed, we want justice,” Nadeem demanded.
Hinting a conspiracy behind the killing, he told the media that someone had called his brother around 11 am in the morning and asked him to come to Bajhera Khurd area for purchase of cattle.
“The incident happened around 11:30 am and we got to know about it around 3 pm. He had taken Rs 50,000- 60,000/- from home but only Rs 14000/- was found in his pocket,” he claimed.
Qasim, 45, was sole breadwinner for his family of seven — wife and six children including 2 sons and 4 daughters. Hailed from Hapur’s Madhapur village, Qasim was lynched by a mob in Bajhera Khurd village in the Pilakhua town on Monday while his co-villager 65-year-old Mohammad Samiuddin sustained serious injuries in the assault.
It is said that a rumor spread Monday morning that some cow smugglers are stealing cows for slaughter from the farms of Bajhera Khurd. Suspecting Qasim as a smuggler, a frenzied mob started beating him with sticks and bricks. When Mohammad Samiuddin, a farmer who was working in his field nearby, tried to protect Qasim, the attackers also beat him up badly. While Qasim succumbed to the assault, Samiuddin received serious wounds and is still admitted in Devnandini hospital in Hapur. Two days back, his condition had deteriorated and he was shifted in the ICU.
In the lynching video that went viral on social media, Qasim can be clearly heard asking for water but the villagers surrounding him didn’t heed to him and he fell unconscious.
The more questionable and haunting are those viral pictures on social media where three cops can be seen walking ahead of a mob that is dragging unconscious Qasim. He died in the hospital.
Though initially the Uttar Pradesh police tried to explain the scene saying the cops were rushing the victim to the police van when the picture was taken, but after facing huge criticism, it not only issued an apology over the insensitivity shown by the cops to the victim but also shunted the three cops to police lines.
According to the victim family and villagers, the two were attacked over cattle theft rumors. However, the police said the assault preceded an altercation over a road accident.
A case has been registered under IPC sections 302 and 307 against Rakesh Sisodia and Yudhisthir Singh.
In the press conference, Samiuddin’s younger brother Mahruddin cornered the police for not telling them the correct whereabouts of his injured brother. He also alleged that someone took thumb impression of his brother at the hospital when he was almost unconscious.
“First we were told about a hospital and then another hospital but after some hours we got to know that Samiuddin was admitted in Devnandini hospital. When we reached there to see him, we found ink on his thumb. It seemed someone took his thumb impression on some paper. When I asked Samiuddin about this, he said he didn’t know about the impression,” Mahruddin told media.
“There is not a single part of the body where he did not sustain injuries. His health is still very critical,” he said.
“The criminals in such incidents are not hiding themselves, they committed crime and made a video of it and shared it too on social media,” Mahruddin said helplessly.
Besides the family members of the victims, Prof. Apoorvanand (Delhi University), Adv. Colin Gonsalves, senior lawyer at Supreme Court, Hartosh Singh Bal, Political Editor, The Caravan Magazine, Arfa Khanum, Consulting Editor, The Wire and Salim Engineer, Secretary General of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and social activist Nadeem Khan also featured the press conference.
Highlighting the gravity of the case, Adv Gonsalves said, “The criminal case must be transferred from Hapur to a session judge in Delhi because Hapur’s bar association is opposing the case. Secondly, if the thumb impression of Samiuddin has been taken forcibly on FIR, a fresh FIR is to be registered. There are adequate proofs for the conviction of the culprits in this case.”
He also criticized the Uttar Pradesh police for declaring the lynching as a case of road rage.
“We don’t believe in UP police and so we demand a probe by an independent investigation agency,” Gonsalves demanded.
Lynching Incidents Have A Pattern
Alleging BJP for patronising the criminals involved in lynching incidents, Mohammad Salim Engineer, Secretary General of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind said that there has been a pattern in all such lynching incidents in the last four years of the BJP rule at the centre.
“This is not spontaneous. It has the same pattern started in Dadri with the lynching of Akhlaq (September 2015). Such incidents are planned to take political mileage in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, by creating an environment of hate against Muslims,” he said.
Salim Engineer along with ‘United Against Hate’ team visited victim’s family in Hapur and also met police officials on Thursday.
Expressing deep concern on the incidents of lynching, Prof Apoorvanand said, “Now it has become a trend that those who kill people, make the videos of their act viral on social media. By such tactics, a kind of addiction is being sowed in the mind of Hindu youths. This must be a matter of concern for Hindus as they are becoming habitual of this. It doesn’t seem such incidents will continue till 2019 elections only; it is a larger conspiracy to divide the whole Indian society.”