Hapur lynching: Victim's brother says mob swelled after calls from temple loudspeaker
Even as 65-year-old Samiuddin struggles to recover from his multiple wounds, new evidence has come to light that further accentuates the particularly sinister nature of the attack on him.
The attack in which the elderly resident of Madapur village in Uttar Pradesh's Hapur district was grievously wounded also claimed the life of 45-year-old Qasim.
Qasim was lynched by a mob on 18 June in Hapur's Bajhera Khurd village allegedly over suspicions that he was slaughtering cows. Samiuddin had reportedly rushed to the crime scene to mediate but he too was roughed up by the mob and, apparently, left for dead.
The FIR lodged in the case in the name of Samiuddin's brother mentions the incident as a case of road-rage but videos of the incident that have gone viral on social media have firmly established the real reason behind the attack.
In a fresh revelation that uncannily harks back to the lynching of Mohammad Akhlaq in Noida's Bisahra village in September 2015, Samiuddin's brother has now reportedly said that the size of the mob that attacked him and Qasim swelled after people were asked to assemble using the nearby temple's loudspeaker.
Mohammad Yaseen, Samiuddin's 40-year old brother, told representatives of the National Alliance for People's Movement that his brother had gone to fetch fodder on the fateful day. Yaseen received word later that an altercation had broken out and his brother had been seriously wounded. He later learnt that the mob comprised 10-12 people initially but swelled following inciting announcements from the local temple's loudspeaker.
Yaseen also said that at the hospital where his injured brother lay, there was hardly any security for them. This is surprising given the fact that Samiuddin, being a victim himself, is the only witness of Qasim's lynching. Yaseen also told NAPM that hospital staff was trying their best to keep journalists away from Samiuddin.
According to NAPM, Samiuddin's relatives are bearing the expenses of his treatment themselves but they have not been handed over any document detailing the injuries and the treatment.
Qasim's brother Nadeem told NAPM that when police handed over Qasim's dead body to them after the post-mortem, they said that since an FIR had already been filed from Samiuddin's side, no other FIR will be filed.
Qasim was the sole bread-winner of his family which is presently surviving on food regularly brought by relatives.
The NAPM team also met the officer in-charge of Pilkhuwa police station, Laxman Verma and asked him what progress had the police made in arresting the large number of young boys, seen in one of the viral videos, abusing Samiuddin and egging on his assailants.
To their utter shock, Verma told the team that he had just returned after counseling the mothers of those boys for two and a half hours. When the activists reminded him that they were all party to the crime and should be arrested and produced in juvenile courts forthwith, Verma said he will look into it.
NAPM's fact-finding mission has clearly revealed two things – that the lynching was more sinister than previously believed and that the administration is not serious in apprehending all the accused, protecting the only witness and ensuring the welfare of the victim's dependent family members.
The lynching quite clearly appears to be another criminal outcome of the sinister cow-protection campaign that radical Hindutva outfits are running across the country. It is well-known that the BJP is sympathetic of this movement, if not party to it, but the governments run by the party are duty-bound to ensure the safety of citizens.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is free to keep and serve cows in his pastime but as the holder of a high Constitutional office, his foremost duty is to ensure that people are not killed under his watch. If this case flounders like the Akhlaq-lynching case, Adityanath will be massively failing in his duty, once again.