Chhattisgarh ‘lynching’: Kin of victims demand justice, compensation

Villagers said no official has visited them after the incident. Lakhnoti village head Mohd. Abbas said the locals are waiting for Saddam, injured in the alleged attack, to come out of coma

Updated - June 10, 2024 09:16 pm IST

Published - June 10, 2024 08:57 pm IST - Ghaziabad

Residents of Lakhnoti surround the ambulance carrying the body of Chand on June 8, 2024.

Residents of Lakhnoti surround the ambulance carrying the body of Chand on June 8, 2024. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Two villages in Western Uttar Pradesh are demanding justice and compensation for the three cattle transporters who were allegedly attacked by cow vigilantes in Raipur district of Chhattisgarh last Friday. While Guddu Khan, 42, from Banat village in Shamli district, and Chand Miyan, 22, of Lakhnoti were allegedly lynched, Chand’s neighbour Saddam, 18, was seriously injured in the attack.

Locals said Chand, who was driving the vehicle, got married five months ago and had left the village a fortnight back for Raipur along with Mr. Saddam where they were working as cattle transporters for the past few years.

Also Read | Police question people with history of cow vigilantism in Chhattisgarh ‘lynching’ case

“No government official has come to the village to share our grief and give us confidence,” Mohd. Abbas, Pradhan of Lakhnoti village told The Hindu. “Even if our children did something wrong, no one had the right to attack them with the purpose of taking their lives,” said Mohd. Rashid, uncle of Mr. Saddam who also works as a cattle transporter. “We are waiting for Saddam to come out of coma and give a statement to the police. I have been told that he was conscious when he was brought to the hospital and briefly spoke about the attack before losing consciousness.”

Shafiq Ahmad, who described Chand as his grandson, said no part of his body was intact when it reached them on Saturday for burial. “There were multiple fractures and marks of sharp and blunt weapons all over the body,” he said. With no source of income and five daughters and two sons to look after, Mr. Ahmad said the family is seeking justice from the Prime Minister.

Lakhnoti village falls in Gangoh town which shares its boundary with the Karnal district of Haryana. The Qureshis, who are traditionally in the meat business, are present in large numbers in the village. “When the BJP government came to power in Uttar Pradesh, cattle markets and slaughterhouses in the area started shutting down because of a drop in business. Gau rakshaks and pressure from the administration forced the youth to migrate to other States for work. As Chand’s father Naushad was already working in Chhattisgarh, he took his son and several other youngsters along with him,” Mr Rashid, who worked in the Haryana-Punjab belt, said. He said the community has begun taking up other professions. “We are now training our children to become automobile mechanics or become agents in the textile trade,” he said. In the Haryana-Punjab region, farmers no longer keep large numbers of cattle bringing down the trade, he said.

Another resident, Mohd. Afzal said a cattle transporter makes ₹800 to ₹1,500 in one trip. “The three were working for a businessman. The cattle didn’t belong to them nor were they slaughtering them. With such threat to life, the business has no future because in the north the cow is worshipped while in the south the buffalo is venerated,” he said.

Gangoh is part of the Kairana Lok Sabha from where Samajwadi Party’s Iqra Hasan has made it to the Parliament. Mr. Abbas said the MP had yet to take note of the incident but former Saharanpur MP Haji Fazlur Rahman, a Qureshi who runs a meat export business, visited the village. The former BSP MP has written to the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister citing the directions given by the Supreme Court on the rise in lynching cases in 2017. He has demanded compensation for the families of the deceased and the injured.

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