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Exactly what is the Dadri temple priestess planning to atone with a purification ceremony?

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 12:14 IST
  • The Dadri lynching episode that sparked off a nationwide outrage is back in the news. But not because the perpetrators of the horrific assault have been punished.
  • The temple in Dadri from where a public announcement was made about Akhlaq slaughtering a cow and consuming beef is going to perform a \'purification\' ceremony.
  • Amid protests, however, the ceremony has been postponed.
  • The temple\'s priestess wants this purification ceremony as an act of atonement. Read on to find out precisely what she plans to atone...

On September 28, 2015, 50-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq was lynched to death outside his house in Bishahra village, Dadri. The mob that attacked him and his son Danish, accused the duo of slaughtering a cow as well as storing beef in the 'fridge for later consumption.

The pleas of the family that the meat in the 'fridge was mutton and not beef went unheard. As did fervent requests of sparing the father and son. The frenzied mob killed Akhlaq and left Danish grievously injured.

The UP Police was heavily criticised for sending the meat in the 'fridge for forensic tests. However, a veterinarian's report proved that the meat was indeed mutton and not beef.

Not that it really mattered whether it was beef or mutton, as a human being was butchered and another was left scarred for life.

However, the new priestess at the Dadri temple, which had publicly announced that Akhlaq was a "cow slaughterer" and had called for a mob mobilisation, continues to believe that it was not a human life but the life of a cow that was lost in the incident. And so, there's a dire need for atonement.

The 35-year-old Sadhvi Harsidhi Giri wants to perform a purification ritual in the temple. Fortunately, the local administrators preempted the possibility of a communal upheaval due to the ritual and "postponed" the event.

Sadhvi Giri, however, is not pleased with the administration's move. She is determined to go ahead with the ceremony, despite resistance from a section of the locals and the police.

Mail Today quoted her saying:

"I will perform the village purification ritual. I have been doing it for several years and it is no crime. I am ready to go to jail for Ram, cow and following my religion. How can the Police stop me from performing my religious duties when I am doing this for peace, love and communal harmony."

Political hand suspected

According to the publication, the Dadri incident is continuously simmering due to the involvement of local BJP leader including HN Sharma and Sanjay Rana. It seems Rana wanted to provoke tension in the village after his aides were named by Danish and Shaista, Akhlaq's son and daughter in their testimony.

Rana's son, Vishal, is the prime accused in the case. Five other people related to him are also accused, as is HN Sharma, who is considered close to culture minister Mahesh Sharma. However, Rana has denied that he has anything to do with the purification ceremony.

Family doesn't want further investigation into the matter

On 6 December, when Akhlaq's sons Danish and Sartaj met Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, they reportedly expressed "satisfaction" over the steps taken by the government. They also told him that they didn't want any "further investigation". The family has been given a compensation of Rs 45 lakh and promised flats in Noida.

First published: 8 December 2015, 11:03 IST