Other States

Dadri lynching: Police identify rumour-mongers

The Uttar Pradesh police on Monday identified Vishal and his friends Shubham and Rupendra as the miscreants who made the announcement about beef being stored at Akhlaq’s home from the local temple in Bishara last week. Akhlaq was lynched by a frenzied mob that barged into his house a little later.

The three are in jail right now and so are six other accused. Police who interrogated the accused said Vishal and his friends saw a dog dragging a packet near a transformer close to Akhlaq’s house. They claimed someone told them Akhlaq dropped the packet, which they believed was beef.

They went to the temple and made the announcement. Soon a crowd gathered and marched to Akhlaq’s house and beat him to death. The district magistrate of Gautam Buddha Nagar N.P. Singh said that Akhlaq’s killing did not appear to be pre-planned. “But we are exploring the angle of political conspiracy. There are a few active fringe groups in the region. We will check their activities and their public statements.”

Mr. Singh said Akhlaq’s lynching was followed by an apparently planned rumour-mongering on the social media. “Investigations have revealed that post the lynching, a hate campaign was launched at two levels: first ‘Chinese whispers’ and then rumour-mongering through WhatsApp and Twitter in local villages,” he said. Unsecured WiFi and proxy servers were used to send trolls and hate tweets.

While the minority Muslims have largely remained silent, a large section of the majority community is on the roads protesting the arrest of the accused who they regard as “innocent”.

The virtual ban on the media has ensured that journalists don’t have access to the victim’s families. Journalists were attacked and chased out by a violent mob which also broke several cars and snatched cameras.

There are just two Muslim families in the neighbourhood where Akhlaq’s family lives. In other parts of the village, there are about 52 Muslim households.

Angry groups of villagers and women are on the road ready to identify media persons and attack them. Some media persons who tried to visit Bishara in the early hours of Monday were heckled by groups of women who accused them of showing only the “Muslim side”.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 8:17:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/dadri-lynching-police-identify-main-accused/article7727750.ece

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