Seven of the 10 youths named in the FIR into the mob attack on Mohammad Akhlaq’s house in Bisara village, leaving him dead and his son Danish seriously injured, belong to the family of district BJP worker Sanjay Rana. That includes his son Vishal.
All residents of Bisara village in Gautam Budh Nagar district, the 10, who are between the ages of 18 and 24, have no criminal background.
A Home Guard constable detained in connection with the lynching, Vinay, is also related to Sanjay Rana.
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Rana confirmed that apart from Vishal, Saurabh, Gaurav, Sandeep, Shivam, Sachin and Vivek are from his family. The other three, Rupendra, Hari Om and Shri Om, he said, are their neighbours. Sachin and Hari Om are still absconding.
Circle Officer, Noida, Anurag Singh said, the list of 10 includes three sets of brothers — Saurav and Gaurav, Vivek and Sachin, and Shri Om and Hari Om.
On Sunday, Vishal and Shivam, who were named by Akhkaq’s wife in the FIR, were remanded to judicial custody.
Bisara village pradhan Sanjeev Rana said the 10, all from the “Thakur community”, lived near each other. He said the attack surprised them as it was the first such incident in the village.
While Sanjay Rana claimed that his relatives were named because he had a heated argument with police, who had reached the spot of the lynching late, Shivam’s father Mukesh said he had no idea why his son and nephews had been arrested.
The Home Guard constable’s father, Om Mahesh, who confirmed that “Sanjay Rana is my cousin”, denied Vinay was involved in the lynching. On September 29, when the incident happened, Vinay was at home, Om Mahesh said. “We rushed to the spot when we heard about the incident. Both of us helped police put Akhlaq in the car so that he could be taken to hospital.”
Claiming that police officials were not aware Vinay worked for UP Home Guard, Om Mahesh said, “I told them he was on PCR duty. Police were shocked to know my son was working for Home Guard.”
Om Mahesh said that the fear of getting picked up had forced several young men to leave the village, including his younger son. “When he called me to inform he was leaving, I could not stop him. What option do we have?”
Om Mahesh also said that while Sanjay Rana “was not a BJP leader, he has been a BJP supporter for a long time”.
The 10 accused:
* Vishal (20): Son of BJP leader Sanjay Rana. He dropped out of school after Class XII, reportedly due to ill-health, and now works at an advertising agency run by his brother-in-law in Okhla, Delhi. Vishal has a brother and two sisters.
* Brothers Vivek (22) and Sachin (20): They help father Om Kumar in his business of repair of electricity appliances. They have two sisters, who are married.
* Brothers Shri Om (20) and Hari Om (23): Both work in a private factory. Hari Om is married. Their father Rajaram died a few years back. Their sister is married.
* Brothers Saurabh (21) and Gaurav (22): Their father Dheeraj Singh is a contractor. Saurabh has completed a Basic Training Certificate course and was looking for a job while Gaurav has completed graduation and recently took admission in law. Their sister is married.
* Shivam (19): The son of Mukesh, a farmer, he is a second-year Bachelor’s of Medical Lab Technology student. He has an elder brother and a married sister.
* Sandeep (18): He has completed intermediate. His father Omveer works as an accountant at a brick kiln. Sandeep has two sisters and a younger brother.
* Rupendra (23): A graduate student, his father Pramood is a retired Armyman who now works as a guard. He has one brother.