Iftar with a difference: Scarred by lynchings, families say will give up dairy farming

“They broke my ribs and nose, I haven’t been able to get myself treated because I have no money. I can’t work now and I will not do dairy business anymore,” said Rafiq, 24, who was with Pehlu Khan the day he was beaten up.

Written by Somya Lakhani | New Delhi | Updated: June 8, 2017 9:45 am
Iftar Party, Najeeb Ahmed, Pehlu Khan Families of mob lynching victims including Pehlu Khan, Najeeb, Akhlakh and Azmath Khan during an Iftar get-together in Jamia Nagar in New Delhi on Wednesday. (Express photo: PRAVEEN KHANNA)

Generations of Azmath Khan’s family have dabbled in dairy farming, but that’s about to change now. “I will leave this and move to farming. Life is more precious, I’d rather leave the profession than be beaten up again or, worse, get killed,” said the 26-year-old, who was allegedly beaten by gau rakshaks in Alwar on April 1. Dairy farmer Irshad, who lost his father Pehlu Khan in the Alwar mob lynching case, agrees with him. On the Centre’s latest ruling, which bans sale of cows for slaughter, he said, “The Centre should buy old cattle from us and keep them in gaushalas. This way at least we will be able to make some money. Now, there is fear of transporting even buffaloes, and this ruling makes it even tougher. I’ll move to farming too.”

“It’s been two months since I lost my father, and no one from Rajasthan or Haryana government has visited our home. No one should be allowed to take law into their hands… we want justice,” he added. The two were present at an Iftar get-together organised by the Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) in Jamia Nagar on Tuesday evening.  Also present at the event were families of Mohd Akhlaq, who was killed in 2015 in Dadri over suspicion of cow slaughter, and Fatima Nafees, the mother of missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed. On Tuesday evening, before the Ramzan fast was broken with plates full of mangoes, watermelons, pakodas and sherbet, the families took the stage to recount their stories.

Also present at the event were families of Mohd Akhlaq, who was killed in 2015 in Dadri over suspicion of cow slaughter, and Fatima Nafees, the mother of missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed. On Tuesday evening, before the Ramzan fast was broken with plates full of mangoes, watermelons, pakodas and sherbet, the families took the stage to recount their stories.

“They broke my ribs and nose, I haven’t been able to get myself treated because I have no money. I can’t work now and I will not do dairy business anymore,” said Rafiq, 24, who was with Pehlu Khan the day he was beaten up. In an emotional plea about her missing son, Nafees said, “We have to protect ourselves; we will keep coming to the streets. I’ve written to and tried meeting several leaders about my son, but none of the accused have been arrested.” At the event, Mohd Akhlaq’s brother Jaan Mohammad said, “

At the event, Mohammad Akhlaq’s brother Jaan Mohammad said, “Bheed ka koi roop nahi hota hai (the mob has no face). This was a planned murder. These gau rakshaks have no fear, they believe they’re above the law. We live in a democracy and this is not how it should be.” Once the call to prayer from a mosque far away was heard, the attendees moved towards the tables to break their fast, even as their concerns lingered behind.

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  1. S
    Secular99
    Jun 8, 2017 at 6:03 pm
    Adding further to the remark I just made, cow vigilatism is dangerous and unlawful. People or groups which support and protect these type of characters are not just destroying the secular fabric of india but creating a spark for communal tension. Its my fear and my greatest concern cow vigilantism would be as synonym for blasphemy law in our neighbouring state stan.
    Reply
    1. S
      Secular99
      Jun 8, 2017 at 5:57 pm
      Its an law and order situation and nothing concering with the policies made by the centre. Cows in our country has been given a sacred status, itsnot up to me or any other individual to bicker on it. Rather it should be taken by the parliament or the elected representatives of the people. Supreme court of India,in a landmark judgement upheld the validity of article 48 of the cons ution, prohibiting the cow slaughter. The problem which arises from my point of view is that its an DPSP. Also The Preservation, protection and improvement of stock and prevention of animal diseases, veterinary training and practice is Entry 15 of the State List of the Seventh Schedule of the Cons ution. There fore each state may or may not implement it Therefore creating utter confusion in minds of the general public. Solution : in special cir stances union can remove a subject from the state list,and act on it if the state is incapacitated to do so.
      Reply
      1. K
        Kulmohan Singh
        Jun 8, 2017 at 11:19 am
        Government should indeed buy old milk-less cattle from the farmers and not burden them with the upkeep of those old milk-less cattle for rest of its life.
        Reply
        1. S
          saurabh bhadauria
          Jun 8, 2017 at 11:14 am
          They all should be transported to stan.
          Reply
          1. C
            chitta
            Jun 8, 2017 at 9:50 am
            Hindu are coward people. History shows how mughals tortured Hindus. Hindu pee in their pants when they see Muslim.
            Reply
            1. M
              mahesh
              Jun 8, 2017 at 12:54 pm
              And before that? Just remember India's history is more than 5000 years old...you are talking just 500 years back..
              Reply
            2. U
              Untouchable
              Jun 8, 2017 at 9:41 am
              Never seen a hindu kil or attacking a rich Muslim.y is it so? Because rakshaks comes from poor families . All politicians enjoy watching a poor Hindu kil poor Muslim. What a lowlife politics 😷
              Reply
              1. N
                nk
                Jun 8, 2017 at 9:32 am
                This fear psychology created in muslim minds was desperately needed by pak so that they exploit muslims to fight with their own citizens. AA
                Reply
                1. P
                  Peace
                  Jun 8, 2017 at 12:47 pm
                  ...that is what happening in Kashmir. BJP doesn't have the ability to keep the India together and rule it.
                  Reply
                2. C
                  chitta
                  Jun 8, 2017 at 9:31 am
                  Eating beef is a tradition of Muslims. This is their right and no Govt can take this from them.
                  Reply
                  1. U
                    Untouchable
                    Jun 8, 2017 at 9:48 am
                    Rich Muslims are eating beef happily but only poor muslims and dalits are targeted by ga y rakshaks because no one have balls to mess with rich person.
                    Reply
                    1. S
                      saurabh bhadauria
                      Jun 8, 2017 at 11:16 am
                      Then They should be ready to get Direct ticket of Jannat.
                      Reply
                      1. M
                        mahesh
                        Jun 8, 2017 at 12:56 pm
                        There were no cows in desert gulf...from where has this tradition come from?
                        Reply
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