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Dadri victim’s family wants to stay on in Bishahra

Mohd Iqlakh's eldest brother Jameel Ahmed at his residence at Bishada in Dadri on Thursday.

Mohd Iqlakh's eldest brother Jameel Ahmed at his residence at Bishada in Dadri on Thursday.

Almost 10 days after his father Mohammad Akhlaq Saifi was lynched by a mob, over rumours about beef consumption, just outside his house at Bishahra village in Dadri, his family does not want to leave, despite the immense pain and memory of his brutal killing associated with the house.

While taking care of his brother Danish at a hospital in Noida, Sartaj was reminded of “things which happened in my absence.” Danish was brutally assaulted by the mob after which he had to be in the ICU of the hospital for several days.

“I can never get over the brutality with which my father was killed. It is like living with the wounds. Yes, it is true that the house at Bishahra reminds me of my father’s killing,” said 29-year-old Sartaj who works with the Indian Air Force in Chennai.

But he was quick to add that the small house in the Hindu neighbourhood stands for much more than his father’s killing.

“We have lots of good memories associated with that house. We have had good times with our dad there. How can we leave it?” he asked in response to media reports which suggested that his family had shifted to Delhi.

He told The Hindu that he and his family did not want to go anywhere else.

“We want to live in Bishahra as always. It would be difficult to forget everything but we have to live with what we have. We have no plans to permanently shift out of Bishahra,” he clarified.

He also voiced concern about his family’s safety but expected the situation to improve gradually. However, Sartaj said that his family might shift out for 3-4 months, “if required.”

The District Magistrate of Gautam Buddh Nagar, Nagendra Prasad Singh, told The Hindu that Akhlaq’s family was still in Bishahra.

“They are living in the village. They have not shared with us their wish or plan to move out. They have been given round-the-clock security,” he added.

Jamil, one of the brothers of Akhlaq, reiterated the same point and said, “How can we leave this village where we have lived for five generations? We are tired of saying the same thing again and again but despite that the media carries unverified stories.”

‘Justice first priority’

Asked about the future of his family and further plans, Sartaj said his first priority is to get justice and simultaneously ensure that his family members lead a normal life.

“My grandmother and sister especially are not in a position to speak normally about things. They are yet to come to terms with the brutal killing which happened in front of their eyes,” he said.

“It is no longer the same world for us. Though we are trying to get that world back somehow,” he added.

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Printable version | May 16, 2022 12:09:43 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/Dadri-lynching-victim%E2%80%99s-family-wants-to-stay-on-in-Bishahra/article60297837.ece