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.

Video of the day

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App

    Live Cricket Scores & Results