UP: Fact-finding reports on the communal lynching in Dadri

October 5, 2015

Mob lynching over rumours of eating beef in Dadri and the rising communal tension- Reporting of today’s visit to Bisara village

Statement from DSF-JNU

The Achhe Din for Akhlaq and his family members did not arrive and will probably never arrive as the 50 year old man in the village of Bisara, Dadri was lynched to death by his own neighbours. Villagers turned man-eaters as the venom of hatred spewed in the Thakur dominated village.

In the wake of this horrific incident of a mob lynching today a team consisting of Ishan Anand, Sonam Goyal, Pratim Ghosal, Shubhanshu Singh, Azhar Amim and Gargi Adhikari (JNUSU SIS Councillor) visited the village of Bisara.

The situation in the village was that of a communally surcharged atmosphere where rumours, lies, anger was fostering hatred. As we reached the main entrance to the village was being militantly blocked by the women as masked men roamed around directing and mobilizing people to stop anybody from entering the village.

Today the media and outsiders were the target of the mob as they smashed media vans, injured journalists and were not allowing anyone to enter the village. However, we managed to sneak our way through the crowd inside the village, managing to have conversations with the agitating women and men. What emerged is the classical route that is taken to manufacture communal riots. Rumours it seemed had become an established fact for the agitating villagers, mostly belonging to the dominant Thakur caste. It was told to us how images of the slaughtered cow was circulating on WhatsApp, proof that the cow was indeed slaughtered even though forensic reports have concluded otherwise. Some even claimed that the police had changed the meat, while some claimed that Akhlaq was a terrorist and that all Muslims should be sent to Pakistan, echoing similar statements made by BJP leaders in the recent past. There was also echoing of discrimination of Hindus by the police and the administration. Local leaders of the BJP have only stoked this fire, issuing statements such as the one made by the Western UP district President who said “”From Friday, we will go from village to village and mobilise people. We will not tolerate harassment.”

Amidst such chaos and tension, one of us managed to reach Akhlaq’s house and spoke to the family members. The family members even in their condition of distress and shock were forthwith about what had transpired that day. They showed the house around, pointing out to the physical damages that were inflicted by the mob. Physical violence was also inflicted upon Akhlaq’s old mother and other family members. His son, Danish, who remains in ICU was seriously hurt and his condition while better than before remains critical. The team visited him in Kailash Hospital, where he is admitted.

Akhlaq’s brother, Afzal Ahmed also expressed that the family wishes to move out of the village, scared that once the attention shifts away from them, they will face further trouble. In a private meeting that was attended by the leaders of the Samajwadi Party, however, we heard their response to this plea. The SP leader said that they cannot be allowed to move out as this would tarnish the image of the SP Government.

Political leaders from across political parties have made a dash for Dadri, however it has not helped in restoring peace and instead aggravated the matter. The failure of the SP Government and its administration in bringing the situation under control was clear and this failure only follows the indictment it received with respect to the Muzzaffarnagar riots of 2013. From our brief visit it seems clear that the seeds of communal hatred in Western UP is only spreading.

It is condemnable that top Ministers in the Modi Government, like Arun Jaitley think that these are ‘stray incidents’. Considering the number of riots that have rocked UP over the last two years, these communal polarizations and violence have become the center of the political discourse and the BJP-RSS is reaping the benefits of such polarizations. Starting from the top, leader after leader of the BJP has made atrocious comments regarding this incident, with BJP MP Tarun Vijay as well as member of the RSS saying that “Why responsibility to keep peace and maintain calm is always put on the Hindus alone?”

Amidst all this the Prime Minister of the country is busy with elections and his empty rhetoric of ‘vikasbaad’ and ‘Digital India’. It is condemnable that Narendra Modi has not spoken a single word on this barbaric incident. This goes for the ABVP on campus as well, which needs to tell the student community what their stand is regarding this horrific incident.

Finally, we appeal to the democratic-secular minded students in JNU to stay vigilant as our assessment is this incident can have a spill over effect and take an even more violent turn.

We will be preparing a detailed fact finding report which we will publish at the earliest.

Ishan Anand, Secretary, DSF
Pratim Ghosal, Jt Secretary, DSF

*****

Dadri Beef Rumour Lynching: Observations after a visit to Bisara village on 3rd October, 2015

New Delhi, 05/10/2015

Team members: Bonojit Hussain (New Socialist Initiative), Deepti Sharma (Saheli), Kiran Shaheen (writer and activist), Naveen Chander (New Socialist Initiative), Sanjay Kumar (People’s Alliance for Democracy and Secularism and New Socialist Initiative) and Sanjeev Kumar (Delhi Solidarity Group)

On the night of 28 September, in a heinous instance of hate crime Mdohammad Akhlaq a resident of Bisara village of Dadri in western Uttar Pradesh was lynched to death and his son Danish brutally assaulted by a mob of villager over a rumour that Mr. Akhlaq and his family had slaughtered a calf and consumed its meat. Just before the lynching, an announcement was made from the local temple to spread the rumour, within moments a mob constituted itself and attacked Mr. Akhlaq resulting in his lynching. Mr. Akhlaq’s son Danish has been in hospital since that night and despite undergoing two brain surgeries his condition is still said to be critical.

We, a six member team of activists, went to Bisara village in Dadri on 03 October 2015, the day when there were news reports that a thousand women have been mobilized to prevent the media from entering the village. The women pelted stones at media personnel and OB vans because of the alleged’disrepute’ they were bringing to the village and for disrupting ‘normal’ life.

We arrived in the afternoon and encountered some media OB vans on the road leading up to the village. As we proceeded towards the village, the visibility of police presence kept increasing. At one point we stopped to talk to the police about the situation in the village and we were told very clearly that the villagers were very angry about outsiders coming in and they can’t really tell us what kind of reactions we might face from the villagers. The police strongly advised us to not go in to the village and also told us that if something were to happen then it would not be their responsibility.

We managed to proceed to the village after speaking on the phone to the village Pradhan,Sanjeev Rana, who sent someone to ‘safely’ escort usto his house, where we met him and some other men from the village. After that, we visited Mohammad Akhlaq’s house and met his family. We also briefly attended a meeting of village elders called by the District Magistratewho upon figuring out that we are not from the village requested us to leave saying they are trying to resolve issues internally. In addition, there was some interaction with men who were around.

1. Some Facts about Bisara Village

Bisara is a large villagein Western UP. It has an inter-college, a market and the presence of many industrial plants in the surrounding areas. A canal runs close to the village. The village appeared to have a thriving agricultural economy. However, we were told that a substantial number of men also work outside the village. The area has recently been re-categorized from rural to an urban zone. It now comes under Greater Noida urban administrative zone, due to which it is not going to have village panchayat elections again.

The numbers for the total population we got varied from 15000 to 18000 people. 300 were reported to be Muslim. Rajputs (who mainly use the Rana surname) are the dominant caste, owning most of the land. We were told that there are also over 100 Jatav families, and approximately similar numbers of Valmiki families. Muslims appear to belargely landless artisans.

Mohammad Akhlaq owned a shop in front of the village inter-college where he repaired iron implements. Three Muslim households live in the main part of the village, in a narrow lane behind village pradhan’s house. Akhlaq’s house is one of these. All other Muslim families live in another part of the village. The village apparently has an old mosque (approximately 70-80 years old) and an Idgah. It is possible that before 1947 it was home to a substantial number of Muslim Rajputs, who migrated out to Pakistan. We were told that the Muslims now living there are Saifis (a caste of Muslim ironsmiths or Lohars).

2. Narratives in the Village

(a) The three village youth we talked to outside the village near the canal told us in hushed voices that the meat in the Akhlaq’s fridge indeed was beef (“Large hoofs, ears and white skin, it could only be cow!” was their refrain). They all said they had heard it from others who had seen these. They had little remorse over the murder.

These three village youth were Class XI/XII students in the village inter-college. When we asked how and what happened. Their first reaction was what happened was both “good and bad”. Bad because somebody lost his life and good because by slaughtering a cow Akhlaq betrayed the goodwill of the Hindus. The Mosque and the Idgah stands on Hindu land, despite the benevolence of the majority community what Akhlaq did can be captured by the saying “jis thali main khaya, usi main ched kiya”. These youths also strongly asserted that “Akhlaq’s family will get new house and compensation from the Government, what else do they want?”

(b) A man on a motorbike with milk cans argued vociferously against media induced disruption of ordinary life. His refrain was ‘our children are unable to go to school and college’ and ‘an internal matter of the village has been unnecessarily made into this big issue’. However, we did later see two 7-8 year old girls in uniform with big school bags, though perhaps they were coming from one of the private schools, or tuition. The village has a Sarawati Shishu Mandir school, with a large new board, close to the inter college on the main village road.

(c) The village pradhan and others emphasized on how the Hindus have always cared for Muslims in the village. The pradhan said that he had given Rs. 40,000/- from his own pocketfor the renovation of village mosque because the Muslimcommunity did not have the resources to renovate it by themselves. He said that other Rajputs of the village too had contributed. To further illustrate this goodwill amongst communities in the village, he narrated an incident of last year when the Rajputs from the village had sat on a dharna in Dadri, after a Muslim woman (from the village, but married outside) was killed in a road accident. Apparently, men from the village were still facing a court case because of that protest.

When asked about what according to him transpired on the night of the murder, the pradhan told us that he was in his farm house that night, which is two kilometres away from the village. He claims that he became aware in the incident only after the announcement from the village temple had been made and the mob had already proceeded towards Akhlaq’s house, and by the time he managed to reach the village Mr. Akhlaq’s was already dead. According to him, only young men were ‘involved’ and elders came to know about it after the murder.

(d) Relatives/ family friends of Mr. Akhlaq thought he was targeted because theirs’ was a relatively well-off Muslim family.Mr. Akhlaq’s elder brother in the meeting of village elders called by the DM said that lumpenisation, everydayness of ruckus after drinking, and petty crimes were on rise in the village for some time. But villagers had not taken any action.

The DM in the meeting with village elders was trying to impress upon them to disclose the identity of the culprits. His refrain was those (young men) involved in the crime will tomorrow attack their own villagers and families. He had allowed the media in the village these past days because he did not want to create the impression that the administration was trying to hide something. From next day, only those with the clearance of the Commanding Officer (of the police), and whom Akhlaq’s family wanted to meet would be allowed in the village. On some of us standing on the side, he asked us to leave as this was an ‘internal’ meeting.

The estimates of how many constituted the mob varied. While the Pradhan said it was anywhere near 2000-2500 people; in the DM’s meeting two different estimates emerged. One elderly Hindu man put the numbers at around 500 people, the DM himself referred to it as mob of somewhere between 500 to 1500 men.

(e) At a rather superficial level, most people we talked to said that killing of Akhlaq is sad. But there was no visible sense of remorse in the village. While they claimed it was an unfortunate event, in the same breath people pointed out that it had been turned into a big issue by the media that has brought shame and bad name to this supposedly “peaceful” 800 years old village.

(f) Leave aside any lack of remorse, the major reason people were agitated is that the “media has only been focusing on Akhlaq’s death and his family. It is not even mentioning the concerns of the “other side” (the Hindus), ie; “Hindu youth being picked up randomly by the police”.

3. Our Observations

(a) The narrow lane leading to MohammadAkhlaq’s house is barely four feet wide. It cannot accommodate more than twenty people at a time. It is unlikely that the mob which attacked could be a thousand strong. The heinous crime may actually be the handiwork of a much smaller number of people. In fact, the talk of a large mob may be a ruse to ‘normalize’ the crime, and show it somehow enjoying a popular support. By all indications it appears that while there were a large number of young men who were part of his mob, there was a small group of men who actually murdered Mr. Akhlaq. The claim of a very large mob is also often a ruse to prevent identification of individuals involved under the obfuscated identity of thousands of people.

(b) The houses are so cluttered and close to each other that it is impossible for Akhlaq to have butchered a calf in his house without the neighbours noticing it. If he butchered it outside his house, then it is very surprising that while he could secretly kill the calf, but was foolish enough to be found with ears and hoofs, as said in the narrative of the village young men we talked to. There is now a clever shift in the dominant narrative. It has moved from butchering the cow to beef found in his house.

(c) A spontaneous mobs is not usually selective in their attack,in this case Akhlaq’s brothers’ house right next to his and was not even touched; in all likelihood the crime was not the result of a spontaneous mob fury. The crime was the result of a criminal conspiracy, known to a few people, but who were very sure that the people at large will not oppose them. The immediate aim of the investigation should be to isolate these people, and give them speedy punishment.

Media has reported the existence of Hindutva organizations active in the area in the name of ‘cow protection’. Their role in the crime should be investigated.

In fact, on our way out of the village, we noticed a Scorpio vehicle parked outside the village road on the arterial road, which had a flex banner on the rear windshield, which read “Hindu Gau Raksha Dal” (Hindu Cow Protection Party).

(d) MohammadAkhlaq’s family is terrified and isolated. We met his elder brother, younger sister, daughter-in-law of the older son and few other relatives. Apart from the elder brother, none of them live in the village and had arrived after hearing of the incident. They are worried about the son (Danish) who is in hospital battling injuries from the attack and also for their 82 year old mother who was injured.

We could not meet Mr. Akhlaq’s wife or his mother but we briefly spoke to the other two women separately, but in the presence of a womanpolice constable. They expressed shock and horror about how this could have happened in a place where they have been living for generations. They also said that hardly any neighbour or people they knew for long have come to offer any help or condolence. They said they don’t want to live in the village anymore and feel scared just by thinking about what will happen when the police presence will not be there.

According to them, the mob seemed large enough in number and many were known/familiar faces. Mr. Akhlaq’s sister took us to the first floor of the house where the mob had ‘found’ him ‘hiding’. The bricks that were used to support the double bed were used to attack him and his son. There were splashes of dried blood, broken rods, spilt over rice, a broken sewing machine, an over turned fridge and charpoy; all left intact the way it was. We were told that some people had most likely come to collect some evidence/samples. Mr. Akhlaq’s sister told us ‘un logon ne usski biwi or maa ki izzat pe haat dalne ki bhi koshish ki…’ (the mob tried to sexually attack Mr. Akhlaq’s wife and mother). But circumstances and time did not allow us to talk to the women more about it.

(e) Back in the village, the pradhan again brought up the common narrative of peaceful co-existence. It was asserted that even during the partition or Babri Masjid demolition or during the Muzaffarnagar communal riots nothing apparently happened in this village. The strong emphasis on this “history” seems to be ploy to put a question mark to any suspicion/narrative of a planned attack that might arise or have arisen. This emphasis is also a subtle way of putting the cause of the outrage/attack on the alleged slaughter of a cow ie; Akhlaq’s house wouldn’t have been attacked if he had allegedly (or rumoured) slaughtered a cow.

4) Brief Analysis

(a) The presence of approximately 300 Muslims in a village of approximately 15000 people dominated by Rajputs, in itself doesn’t give much scope for Hindu communal mobilization. So a rumour of cow slaughter becomes the most feasible vehicle to mobilize a certain dominant agrarian caste on a Hindu plank against Muslims in general. This is a similar trend of mobilizing a dominant caste against Muslims that was also visible during the riots in Muzaffarnagar in 2013.

(b) This particular incident is also not something that can be seen in isolation just because it happened for the first time in this particular village. There has been a concerted campaign around ban on cow slaughter in India but more specifically in Uttar Pradesh. In a recent event one person (from Sangh Parivar) has been caught red-handed in Azamgarh while he was throwing cow meat in a temple. Similarly such patterns of event and rumours were witnessed in Muzaffarnagar, in Delhi’s Bawana and Najafgarh area in 2014. So, the narrative of rather peaceful history might be true on the surface, but it does not suggest that this “first of a kind incident” of this scale could have happened just as an“accident”because of “hot-headedness of youth”.

(c) Another fact, also common to other instance (also observed in the Muzaffarnagar fact-findings), was women of the villages coming out very aggressively against the police and media for their alleged “sympathies to Muslim family and biases against the Hindus.” While in the meeting with the DM about maintaining peace and identifying the culprits, there were no women present at all. Here it should also be noted that as quoted in The Hindu, the SP (Rural) Dadri confirmed that on Friday night Thakurs/Rajputs held two meetings to strategize how to deal with media and its “one sided coverage”.

Even while it is the work of a criminal conspiracy; the context of the crime is purely political in the ‘beef ban’ politicking of the BJP. Many BJP ministers, MPs and others have tried to deflect attention away from the enormity of the crime, by calling it as an ‘accident’ (Mahesh Sharma, Union Minister and BJP MP from NOIDA), or writing that ‘lynching on mere suspicion is bad’ (Tarun Vijay, spokesperson BJP), indicating that if the suspicion turn out to be true it would have been OK.

We demand:

1) Speedy arrest and bringing to book of all the men who participated in the murder of Mohammad Akhlaq.

2) That Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav ensures the safety of Akhlaq’s family and also of other Muslim families in the village.

3) That the Union Government take serious action against Union Minister Mahesh Sharma and other BJP leaders for attempting to justify this heinous crime and communally inciting the villagers further.

4) A criminal investigation of the role of Hindutva organizations who have been operating in this area be instituted.

5) That Prime Minister Modi break his shameful silence on this brutal incident.

*******

Bisahada, an ‘accident’ perpetrated with deep and hidden motive
– A report by the CPI – ML Liberation team that visited Dadri on 1st October

When one reaches Bisahada village it is difficult to imagine that a few days ago a Muslim family here had to undergo a horrifying experience. In front of the eyes of a daughter, a wife, and a mother, self-styled protectors of the Hindu religion barbarically attacked the head of the family and his son. 50 year old Akhlaq Mohammad was beaten to pulp with bricks and killed in a medieval-style lynching; the mob beat his 20 year old son Danish so brutally that they left him for dead. After the incident, the essence of most newspaper and TV reports was that a mob killed a person on rumours of his having eaten beef. Initially former BJP MLA dismissed the incident as a natural reaction of children to a rumour; later the sitting BJP MP and Union Minister Mahesh Sharma toured the area and called the incident an “accident” and said it should not be given a communal colour.
The day after the incident CPI-ML comrade Aslam who is an activist in the Dadri area met and spoke with the family members of the victims at the local Kailash Hospital where Danish, grievously injured and fighting for life, is being treated. The next day a CPI-ML team visited Bisahada, met the family members as well as villagers and tried to find out the truth about the incident. This incident is not an isolated one in this area with a Rajput and Gurjar majority. On the ground level there have been incidents off and on where upper caste Hindus and powerful sections have attacked Muslims, dalits, and weaker sections of society on some pretext or the other, forcing them into such a condition that they had either to leave their homes and livelihoods and migrate, or accept subjugation under the dominant section and live and die according to conditions set by them.
The RSS and its satellite organizations are directly and indirectly repeating such experiments through different ways in different parts of the country. In recent times Western UP, Haryana, and Delhi have emerged as the new laboratories for this experiment. There is an interwoven pattern in the manner in which hate campaigns and attacks against minorities are being carried out in Muzaffarnagar, Saharanpur, Meerut, Muradabad, Bijnor, Delhi’s Trilokpuri, Bawan, Nandnagri, Mundka, Haryana’s Atali, Badarpur, Tikri Brahman, and other places. Only recently in the month of August three Muslim youths Arif, Anas, and Najim were beaten to death on allegations of cattle theft in Kimrala village of Dadri district.

BJP MP and Union Minister Mahesh Sharma can cry himself hoarse calling this incident an “accident” but if all the recent incidents and their characters are seen as a whole, they appear as different facets of the same picture, the picture of the Sangh’s anti-minority, anti-Muslim face. After the installation of the Modi government at the Centre, the agenda which the Sangh had been propagating and mobilizing among the people is now being translated into direct action. Somewhere it is a question of beef, somewhere a question of love jihad, somewhere an issue of conversion, and elsewhere an issue of love for Pakistan; the pretext can be any of these and the victims are Muslims, Christians, dalits, or forces fighting for progressive, secular, and democratic values.
Promotion of the idea that the incident was a reaction to a rumour serves to establish the idea propagated by those very fascist forces who perpetrated this heinous lynching, whereas actually it was a well thought out and planned incident to give a direct message to the minorities; a message whose impact is visible even today. The Rajputs of the village, citing the Ganga-Jamni culture of the village, proudly tell us, “We have built a masjid and an idgah for them (the Muslims); what better example of unity between us?” But when we met the caretaker of the masjid, the look on his face expressed the pall of fear under which this small community is living. He was fearful even to tell us his name. When asked, “Are you afraid?” he countered, “What do you think?”

Bisahada is a village with about 8,000 voters and 70% Rajput families. There are also Brahmin, dalit, and about 30 Muslim families, all of whom other than Mohammad Akhlaq’s family, live behind the main part of the village around the dalit families’ homes. Mohammad Akhlaq’s home is in the midst of Rajput homes. Neighbouring his house are the homes of three of his brothers—Jameel Ahmad, Afzal, and Jaan Mohammad Saifi—who do not live here but in Loni and Dadri. Only Mohammad Akhlaq’s family consisting of himself, his mother, wife, son, and daughter lived there. Daughter Shaista, whose eyes were witness to the horrific lynching, tells us that at 11 PM there came sounds of yelling, shouting, cursing, and pounding on the door from outside. Soon the mob climbed over the 1 meter high wall and entered the house. We kept shouting. The Hindu family living right opposite closed the doors of their house. Nobody came to our help from the neighbouring houses. Meanwhile the miscreants kept abusing, took out the mutton (goat’s meat) from the fridge which our relatives had presented us on the occasion of Eid and said it was beef, and started beating my father and brother. They removed the bricks placed under the charpai (to raise its height) and kept hitting my brother’s head and forehead with the bricks. When he, bleeding excessively, fell unconscious, they left him for dead and dragged my father Akhlaq outside the house and beat him to death with sticks, bricks, and stones in the middle of the road. Akhlaq’s mother, over 70 years old, his wife, and daughter were also badly beaten by the rioting mob. The old grandmother’s eyes, bruised black and blue with the beating, ask a question of everyone today. Shaista was also attacked with ill intent and could prevent molestation with greatest difficulty. The local BJP MP and Union Minister, meeting the family four days after the incident took place, reiterates that this is merely an accident and it should not be given any other colour.

Shaista tells us that brother Danish used to tell her that several boys of the village used to direct abuses at him like “Saale Pakistani” and other such abuses used by Sanghis for Muslims. When we spoke to the villagers, particularly the Rajputs, about the incident, most people expressed regret about the incident but at the same time everyone started giving the explanation that after all the meat was from a calf; or how these people are Pakistan lovers; one after the other, all the narratives tumbled out which one commonly hears after riots or disputes or debates on this issue.

Seeing the open gate of a house neighbouring Akhlaq’s, we went there; this house belonged to his neighbor Rajendra Singh, over 60 years old. Rajendra Singh told us that his family and Akhlaq’s family had a long association of over 60 years. Moreover, in all these years he had never seen a goat or any other animal being slaughtered in Akhlaq’s house. As Akhlaq’s house was very small, his elder daughter’s marriage was actually performed in Rajendra Singh’s house, and people from the community cooked food together on the occasion. We found that an old man sitting there was Akhlaq’s elder brother Jameel Ahmed. When we asked Rajendra Singh why he did not go to help the family, he replied that it was 11 PM at night and they were also afraid; by the time they could understand what was happening, the incident had already taken place.

So-called “senas” have emerged in this entire area whose names have been involved in various communal and casteist incidents. There is the Samadhan Sena, (whose chief is Govind Choudhury who had also been a Sangh pracharak) which was under suspicion in the incident of the killing of three Muslim youth in Kimrala village in August. There is also the Pratap Sena with Lalit Rana as President, which claims to work on issues such as upper caste rights, protection of religion, ending reservation, and other matters. The speed with which this incident was accomplished indicates that it was not merely an accident. This incident appears to be a part of the interweaving of various direct and indirect means by which the Sangh is trying to work its so-called Hindu Rashtra agenda. It is clear that the incident was very well organized. First was the task of preparing and connecting fanatics through the social media Whatsapp. When the conditions were made ready and ripe, after 10 PM an announcement was made through the loudspeaker in a temple in the heart of the village that a cow has been slaughtered and thrown in the main street of the village. After this, the mob gathered, and the whole mob went back from the temple to Akhlaq’s house, surrounded the house and attacked him and his family.

What emerges after talks with various people is that Akhlaq’s family was targeted consciously for teaching Muslims a lesson and sending out a message of fear to them. There appear to be two reasons for this—first, they were a comparatively easy target in the midst of an entire Rajput basti, who would find it comparatively difficult to get help from any part of Muslim or dalit communities; secondly, this family was slowly moving towards a better economic condition from a condition of extremely difficult economic circumstances. The elder son Sartaj works for the Air Force while the youngest son Sajid was preparing for the CDS exam to enter the army. Hindutva forces have, on various occasions, channelized the anger of unemployed youth and youth struggling to earn 4,000-5,000 in contract jobs in nearby industries against feudal arrogance and false Rajput pride, into anger against families trying to improve their lot through hard work. An anti-Muslim mindset is consciously being cultivated in a part of the younger generation facing its own various problems. To achieve this end, a whole community can be attacked and killed as was done in Muzaffarnagar; or a particular family can be targeted on the allegation of eating beef and an Akhlaq can be lynched; or they can be accused of cattle theft and be made the prey of a bloodthirsty mob. Finally, they have also reiterated the message given in Atali (Haryana): If you want to live in the village, do so under the conditions set by us, otherwise get out of the village. The succession of these barbaric incidents tells us clearly that they are not “accidents” but conscious deeds perpetrated by fascist thinking.

The fact finding team consisted of Aslam Khan, Girija Pathak and Om Prasad.

*******

A fact-finding report on murder by communal elements in Dadri

Released by National Committee, IFTU

[Source: NBS Delhi blog]

Those employees of Denso India Limited (situated in NOIDA) who lived in Dadri learnt in the early hours of 29th September that the brother of one of their workers had been beaten to death late the previous night by a mob in his village Bishada situated 4 kms. north of Dadri. The son of the dead man had also been severely beaten and was fighting for life in a nearby hospital where had been admitted by the police.

Led by Com. Radheyshyam, Member of the National Committee of Indian Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU) and also ex-General Secretary of the Shramik Sangh along with Shri Vinod Bhati ex-President of Shramik Sangh and other workmen associated with the Shramik Sangh, a team of employees of Denso India Ltd. went to Bishada to console the workman Jan Mohammed and his family on 29th September, 2015. There they learnt the details of the horrible circumstances concerning these killings.

This village is the native village of Jan Mohammed (family has lived here for generations) who himself lives in Dadri and works as a technician in Denso India Ltd. His brother, Ikhlaq Ahmed (who was killed) worked as a blacksmith and was a living in the village. Of his other brothers, the eldest, Zamir Ahmed, works in a private company in Delhi and lives in Loni, the second, Afzal Ahmed, is an employee of Indian Railways and lives next door in village Bishada itself where he is constructing another house. Ikhlaq himself was living in the village and earlier had been a temporary employee in Denso India Ltd. Jan Mohd. is the youngest.

Late Ikhlaq Ahmed’s elder son is in the Indian Air Force and is posted in Chennai. His younger son, Danish, is lying injured. Ikhlaq also has a daughter. In the village of 9500 voters and 2500 families, the houses of the two brothers are at a distance from that of 32 other Muslim families who live beyond the temple. The village is Thakur dominated (part of satta or seven Thakur dominated villages); there are some scheduled caste families besides. One person from among them is also a permanent employee of Denso India Ltd. The nearest thana is at Jarcha, 1-2 km. from the village. It was apparent that the brothers had worked hard, managed to educate the children and had average lifestyle as well.

The team learnt that activity of the BJP had started recently in this village itself, the area MP is Mahesh Sharma, an important functionary of the BJP. The youth of the village were in contact with Central BJP functionaries and some have started roaming in streets wearing shirts imprinted with Hindu religious symbols. Many of these youth take alcohol and are very rude and arrogant. Three months earlier, a priest had been appointed to the local temple which did not have a priest earlier. The temple itself has a public address system with four loudspeakers whose sound reaches the entire village. According to Jan Mohd. the family (both the houses) had not done any sacrifice on Bakr-id on September 25. Goat meat of sacrifice was sent by late Ikhlaq’s married daughter, and same was cooked and some stored in the fridge. Some other people of the village from other community, known to late Ikhlaq and who were non-vegetarians, also ate the meat.

Around 8 PM some photos of beef being found in a utensil and being confiscated by the police were uploaded in the social media. The name of this village was written below the photos though nobody has said till date that such an incident had occurred in this village. After 9 PM, three or four youth went to the temple and the priest says he was forced to announce that everyone should assemble as cow was lying slaughtered in the village. Around 1500 people or more started collecting, and the family said that around 100 entered the narrow gali in front of the house, broke open the gate, scaled the wall, shouting abuses. The daughter of late Ikhlaq told the workers’ team that some youth beat her grandmother, some of them went to the first floor where Ikhlaq and his son Danish were sitting. The youth were armed with lathis. A sawing machine is also kept in the room. They beat up bother father and son, battered them with machine, left the son there but dragged Ikhlaq’s body into the gali and left it there about 150 yards from the house. By then the PCR arrived. Ikhlaq’s daughter has been able to name ten youth among the killers as they were neighbours whom she could identify.

IFTU National Committee has received this report and is releasing the same. We strongly condemn the ghastly incident which was clearly executed with prior planning and in organized fashion. Ikhlaq’s brother’s house and the family next door was left untouched. We are amazed that BJP MP, Mr. Mahesh Sharma, attributes the incident to ‘misunderstanding’ and wonder how naïve the Modi Govt. and the RSS think people are. We express our condolences and sympathies with the family. We commend the workmen of Denso for their intervention and call on the workmen of Denso India and other industries to join us in ensuring justice to their colleague’s brother. We demand that the UP Govt. arrest the guilty immediately, ensure security to the family and expose the political elements who planned and executed this murder.

The RSS and BJP are systematically communally polarizing areas where people of both the communities have lived side by side for generations. We call upon the working class to expose communal conspiracies of RSS-BJP to divide the fighting strength of the people on their democratic demands, and to defeat their conspiracies.