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Watch and wait: Akhilesh govt’s go slow on Dadri protesters

The Akhilesh Yadav government does not wish to seem too restrictive in its measures for fear of a backlash.

Written by Maulshree Seth |
June 7, 2016 7:03:22 pm
DAdri lynching, Dadri mahapanchayat, bishada mahapanchayat, mahapanchayat bishada, bishada village, india news A village meeting in Bisara demands an FIR against Akhlaq’s family. (Express Photo: Gajendra Yadav)

Almost nine months after 50-year-old Mohd Akhlaq was lynched in Bisara village of Dadri over suspicions that he ate beef, Dadri is again on the boil after the report from the forensic laboratory in Mathura stated that the meat recovered form outside Akhlaq’s house in September 2015 belonged to “Cow or its progeny”.

Now, the UP government is in a fix as Dadri locals, including families of the accused in the case as well as BJP leaders have given the state government a 20-day ultimatum to act against Akhlaq’s family, register an FIR against them on charges of cow slaughter or be ready to face massive protests.

Senior officers in the state government say that with Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav questioning the authenticity of the lab report and maintaining the official stand of the state government that the sample of meat was recovered from “outside” Akhlaq’s house and not from inside his house, there is not much that the state government can do or plans to do apart from keeping a watch on village meetings.

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Sources say that if the pressure builds then, at most, an FIR could be registered against unidentified persons for cow slaughter “to be open for further investigation”. The idea seems to be to prolong the situation and wait for things to fizzle out on their own.

While it would be difficult for the state government to name the Akhlaq family in an FIR -– it has been given relief of up to Rs 45 lakh personally by the CM few months ago -— the government’s promise to provide Akhlaq’s family with a house NOIDA has been kept on the back-burner.

Government sources say that while officers of the district administration have been put on alert in the region and have been asked to be on their toes to watch every “suspicious movement”, at the same time the government does not wish to seem too restrictive in its measures for fear of a backlash.

“We are in constant touch with the district officers. The complaint based on the forensic report has been accepted and further steps will be based on the probe.” said Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan. Asked about yesterday’s meeting in Dadri village, he said that there was nothing to worry about as district officers are in touch with the locals of the village.

However, the situation is not that simple for the government which is already facing criticism for its alleged “poor management and planning” of violence in Mathura last week.

“If the government uses force to stop movement of locals, it will backfire. Thus, it is best to avoid confrontation and remain neutral. The moment the government machinery tries to confront the locals, retaliation is feared. Officers are in talks with the locals,” said a senior government officer.

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