The mob murder of a man in Dadri was “not a spontaneous act” but involved “some planning”, a member of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM), which visited the spot as part of a fact-finding mission, has told The Indian Express. The NCM member, Farida Abdullah Khan, also said that “citizenship rights of Muslims are being denied and challenged”.
The commission is set to meet Wednesday to finalise the report on the killing of Mohammed Akhlaq in Bisara village in Dadri last month. Akhlaq was killed following rumours that he and his family stored and consumed beef.
Khan, who visited Dadri along with NCM Chairman Naseem Ahmad and member Tsering Namgyal Shanoo, told The Indian Express that it was not possible for “people to spring out in large numbers out of nowhere and attack”.
“Everyone, including the family which came under attack, was fast asleep. And very suddenly enough people gathered to attack,” she said. “They could not have gathered in five minutes… there has to be some planning. It was not a spontaneous act,” she added.
Khan said there was an “atmosphere of hatred” in the country and suggested that “not condemning” such incidents makes the situation “worse”. However, she did not say whether her “impressions and observations” would make it to the commission’s report.
She said the local administration in Dadri “seemed to be doing its best to restore normality” and Hindus in the area, too, were eager to offer support.
“The Hindus, especially the elderly, wanted to meet and told us that they were willing to offer support in identifying the culprits. It did surprise us. We have visited such spots earlier and generally we have seen the locals wash off their hands. Here, they told us they want those behind the killing to be punished,” she said.
Stating that the “citizenship rights of Muslims are being denied and challenged”, Khan said, “One community cannot live at the mercy of other communities. The Constitution gives everyone the right to practice one’s religion and culture. The state should be able to guarantee everyone their citizenship rights. Give an assurance. The citizenship rights of Muslims cannot be denied.”