LUCKNOW: A 45-year-old man identified as Qasim was lynched by a mob in Hapur district of Uttar Pradesh on Monday while his co-villager 65-year-old Samiuddin sustained serious injuries in the assault.
According to the victim family and villagers, the two were attacked over cattle theft rumors when they working in the field. However, the police said the assault preceded an altercation over a road accident.
According to some villagers, a rumor spread Monday afternoon that some cow smugglers are stealing cows for slaughter from the farms of Bajhaida Khurd in the Pilakhua area of Hapur. Soon, people gathered in the local farms to look for the alleged cow smugglers. Meanwhile, a group found Qasim and Samiuddin working in their farm in the Madapur village and suspected the two as smugglers. They started beating them with sticks and bricks. While Qasim succumbed the assault, Samiuddin received serious wounds and his video went viral on social media.
Qasim’s son, Mahtab told NewsClick.in: “I remember that my father got a call at 11 in the morning on Monday. The caller told him that some cattle need to be sold. He also asked him to come to the neighbour village, Bajhaida Khurd, so he left. We got another call at about 2 in the afternoon only to find out that he has died. This looks like a conspiracy. It needs to be investigated.”
However, the police have a different version of the incident to tell.
“Preliminary reports suggest beating of two people, and the fight was triggered after a motorbike hit some people. One person died and another one was assaulted,” SP Hapur Sankalp Sharma said.
“This is all the complainant (Samiuddin’s brother) has told the police. We have not recovered any motorcycle from the spot. As far as the allegations about attempted cow slaughter or cattle smuggling is concerned, we are investigating the matter,” he told The Indian Express.
In September 2015, a mob had lynched Mohammad Akhlaq in Dadri village in the Gautam Buddha Nagar district in the state over allegation of consuming and storing beef. At that time, Samajwadi Party was in power and Akhilesh Yadav was Chief Minister. He was dethroned by the BJP in March 2017 and Yogi Adityanath became Chief Minister.