NEW DELHI — The Supreme Court of India on Wednesday directed Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut range IG to investigate the 18th June lynching in which a brutal gang of cow vigilantes had killed meat trader Mohammad Qasim, 45, and brutally assaulted his elderly co-villager Samiuddin in Hapur district.
The apex court has asked the IG to probe the incident in accordance with its recent judgement on mob lynching.
“…it is directed that the investigation shall be carried on under the direct supervision of the Inspector General of Police, Meerut Range. The concerned Inspector General of Police shall take steps in accordance with the judgment rendered by this Court in Tehseen S. Poonawalla vs. Union of India & Ors., (2018) 9 SCALE 4”, said the bench.
The Uttar Pradesh government has reportedly told the court that the investigation will be completed in 60 days.
The SC will hear the case after two weeks.
The local police had allegedly diluted the case from it being a cow-related mob lynching to an incident of road rage, leading to bail to main accused Rakesh Sisodia.
This despite the fact that just a few days after the incident, a video of the lynching had surfaced wherein survivor Samiuddin, 65, was seen being assaulted by group of teenagers. They were hurling abuses on him and while pulling his beard they were asking him to admit he was taking cow for slaughter.
In the last hearing on 13th August, the apex court had sought a report from Meerut IG on the Hapur lynching. The court had passed the order on a plea filed by victim family following a sting video was broadcast by NDTV wherein the main accused Rakesh Sisodia was bragging about the killing of Qasim.
Lawyer Vrinda Grover for survivor Samiuddin said: “a false FIR or road rage, instead of mob lynching, was registered by the police. The probe needs to be transferred from state police to a Special Investigating Team.”
“Samiuddin was the survivor of the incident but his statement was not recorded at the time of filing of the FIR,” she said.
Aishwarya Bhati, Additional Advocate General of UP, informed the court that the state government had taken swift and instant action in the matter by ordering the transfer of the SHO concerned and appeals have also been filed challenging the bail granted to the accused in the case.
In the last four years, since the BJP came to power at the centre, there has been steep rise in incidents of lynching and mob violence in the name of cow. Dozens of people, mostly Muslims, have been killed in BJP-ruled states like Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Assam.