It has been three days since tragedy struck Khandawli village in Faridabad’s Ballabgarh. Grief and shock were expected. The lack of response from the government, less so. Residents of Khandawli village now want reassurance from the government — both central and state — and a promise that the guilty will be brought to book and such an incident will not be repeated. They termed their silence on the incident as “profiling”.
“It could be that the men were after the goods the boys bought from the market. But we believe this was more of a case of targeting them because they were Muslims. The mob trampled on their skull caps and pulled their beards — few things can be more insulting than that for us,” said Salima, a neighbour of Junaid’s family.
So far, Junaid’s family has been visited by Communist Party of India (Marxist) members Brinda Karat and Mohammad Salim, as well as BSP MLA Tek Chand Sharma, “who paid a two-minute visit since his office is nearby”.
“When they want votes, everyone comes running. But when something like this happens, not one person from central or state government has come to offer comfort or reassurance. Not one senior minister has spoken or expressed remorse about the incident publicly,” said Junaid’s father, Jalaluddin.
“The police are doing everything possible and have been cooperating with us, but why isn’t the administration giving this as much importance?” Jalaluddin said.
Reiterating this point, Mohammad Tasleem, another resident, said, “It is not necessary that people will start behaving if a minister speaks, but may be if someone like the Chief Minister talks about this incident, a positive message will go out and we can start hoping again. This is no longer a matter of Hindu and Muslim, it is a matter of right and wrong, a matter of justice.”