The National Commission for Minorities on Wednesday came out with its report on Dadri lynching incident. It concluded that the killing of Mohammed Akhlaq was “pre-meditated” and said that calling it an “accident” would be quite an “understatement”. The panel said it was “disturbing” that “responsible persons” converge at such spots after the incident and “make irresponsible statements” further vitiating the atmosphere.
Union Minister Mahesh Sharma had described the lynching of the 50-year-old man by a mob following rumours that he and his family stored and consumed beef as an “accident”. In the days following the incident, many politicians, including BJP MLA Sangeet Som and BSP leader Naseemuddin Siddiqui, landed in Dadri and made inflammatory and provocative speeches.
“A crowd of large numbers appearing within minutes of the announcement from temple’s loudspeaker and at a time when most villagers claimed they were asleep seems to point to some pre-meditated planning,” said the report authored by NCM chairman Naseem Ahmad and members Farida Abdullah Khan and Tsering Namgyal Shanoo.
Without naming Sharma, the report said, “It would be quite an understatement to say that Bisahda killing was merely an accident, as has been claimed even by some persons in authority. The facts are reported to NCM team point strongly that the whole episode was the result of a planning, in which a sacred place like a temple was used for exhorting people of one community to attack a hapless family.”
“Moral policing with impunity is being resorted to at many places. The malaise is spreading fast, especially in Western Uttar Pradesh. What is more disturbing is that responsible persons converge at the place of any such incident and make irresponsible statements, which further vitiates the relations between the communities. This has to be stopped at all costs, otherwise things will go out of hand,” the six-page report said.
“All the political establishments need to counsel their cadres and sympathisers to desist from making irresponsible statements and making capital out of such outrages,” it said in one of the seven recommendations.
The panel was also critical of the state government’s intelligence apparatus as it said, “It seems that intelligence gathering is no more occurring in the rule book of the authorities.” The panel sought curbs on dissemination of hate messages on the social media, saying, “Social media are being extensively used to flare up communal passions (and) some form of vigilance and curb on such hateful attempts is the need of the hour.”
Quoting district officials, the report said two more attempts had been made to “gather people” and “incite them” through rumours regarding killing of cows but police responded instantly and did not allow the situation to escalate.
Talking about its interaction with the family members of the slain man, the report said, “They claimed that the attack was sudden and vicious and that the men were particularly and brutally targeted but women were also assaulted and injured.”