Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma has said that the nature of Danish’s injuries prove that the intention of the mob that attacked his home and murdered his father was not to lynch him. The minister also stressed that no one in the mob had touched a 17-year-old girl who was in the house at the time of the attack.
Danish’s father Akhlaq was lynched allegedly by their neighbours in Bisara village in Dadri outside Delhi late on September 28 evening, following rumours that the family had consumed and stored beef. The village is part of Sharma’s Lok Sabha constituency Gautam Budh Nagar.
“You must have seen that whenever there is any buzz about cow slaughter, media, people all rush (to the spot). All those who love the cow rush (to the spot). It (the murder) took place as a reaction to that incident (cow slaughter). You must also consider that there was also a 17-year-old daughter in that home. Kisi ne usey ungli nahin lagaayi,” Sharma told The Sunday Express.
On Danish’s injuries, Sharma, who is a doctor and runs Noida’s Kailash Hospital, said: “Whenever a person faces an attack by lathis, he thrusts his hands forward, and five-seven of his fingers are inevitably broken. I have 30 years’ experience as a doctor.
He received at least 10-15 fractures in his body and fingers. Danish is admitted in my hospital. He does not have a single fracture in his entire body except a head injury that was caused when he was hit by a lathi. Maar diya hoga kisi shaitaan ne. But it means that the intention was not to lynch. Second, no one threw even a stone at the neighbouring homes of Muslims. Therefore, it is wrong to give it that (communal) colour.”
The attack was triggered by sudden outrage over cow slaughter, the minister said. “Momentarily hai (It was momentary). Gaay ke maans par hum logon ka… andar se aatma hilne lagti hai (On beef… our soul starts shaking). You can kill other animals, mutton, and people don’t (react)… (but) when you name cow… We have linked the cow with our mother,” he said.
Explaining the “art” of cow slaughter, Sharma said that some “people” could kill and skin an adult cow, and flee with “everything” in the carcass, in a matter of minutes.
“What happened there (in Bisara village) that a calf had gone missing. There has been a spurt in the cases of cattle theft. Log raat ke time pashuon ko utha lete hain, wahin kaat daalte hain. They know such an art. They tie the four legs (of the animal) in a special knot, use some instrument, kill it. Within minutes, they skin it, pack its meat in a vehicle, and escape. Within five-seven minutes, they skin an entire adult cow. A gang of just 3-4 persons can do it. They take out everything (from inside the animal’s body), leaving just the skin and bones behind,” he said.
“These (the slaughter of cows) are frequent incidents,” the minister said. “Often trucks are seized and cows are recovered. It then causes a ruckus. A few hundred people gather, shout slogans. Someone sets the truck on fire in reaction.
“In the same way, someone said that it was beef (in Bisara). It also appeared like beef. Then they announced from the temple that ‘beef was recovered’. ‘Where was it found?’ ‘It was found in his (Akhlaq’s) home’. Perhaps there was a trail of blood coming out of that home. People then reached his home. They got furious, a mob gathered, broke the door. That’s how it happened.”
Sharma rejected allegations that the lynching was the culmination of a conspiracy. “A conspiracy cannot be hatched in two hours. A conspiracy requires a month, a fortnight,” he said.
“There was no premeditated conspiracy,” the minister stressed. “If there was one, let the police investigate. It’s a very sad incident. We condemn it. But don’t give it a communal colour. Muslim families of that area also say that everything was all right until two hours before the incident. My party and the government are trying not to give it a communal colour. You can use whatever expression you like — incident, accident, durghatana, haadsa — but it was not premeditated,” he said.
Sharma, who was in Varanasi to oversee the implementation of various schemes in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency, described Akhlaq’s killing as a “black spot” on the culture of the Indo-Gangetic plains.
“It is a black spot on the Ganga-Jamuna culture. There has never been an incident in the last 70 years in the village. It should not have happened. I am sad. We all are aggrieved by it,” he said, urging politicians to stay away from the area.