As the political slugfest over the Dadri lynching escalated, the District Magistrate today said legal experts have been asked to examine video footage of the remarks made by controversial BJP MLA Sangeet Som and appropriate action will be taken even as UP minister Azam Khan accused BJP of “planning and executing” the killing.
“Whatever he(Som) spoke has been videographed. ..I have asked legal experts to examine his statement….the statement he made in the village and the statement he made to the media persons. If any action is needed to be taken as per law, it will be taken,” the District Magistrate N P Singh said.
The district authorities decided to further restrict entry of visitors to the troubled spot as tension spread to nearby areas after meat pieces were found last evening in Chithera village, which is about five km from Bisara.
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Dadri DSP Anurag Singh said some persons had kept the meat pieces in the village to create communal disturbance.
Singh also directed that a police case be registered against fringe group for violating prohibitory orders imposed since the killing of a 50-year-old man by a mob allegedly over rumours that he had eaten beef, and allegedly making inflammatory speeches.
In Lucknow, Azam Khan alleged that the Dadri lynching was “pre-planned and executed” by BJP. He also attacked the RSS, saying it is looking for issues to divide communities on religious lines. The SP leader said that he will a letter to the United Nations about the Dadri killing.
BJP leader Sanjay Rana, father of Vishal Rana who is an arrested accused in the case, claimed his son was 50 km away from the village when the lynching incident took place.
While demanding strict punishment for the guilty, he said the investigation into the case should be conducted by an
50-eyar-old Akhlaq was dragged out of his home by a 200-strong mob and beaten to death after a public announcement from the local temple that the family had slaughtered a calf and eaten its meat last Monday night in Bisara village.
In Delhi, Union Minister Sanjeev Kumar Balyan termed the lynching incident as “unfortunate” and said it should not be given communal colour while asking the Samajwadi Party government to take strict action against cow slaughtering.
BJP accused the opposition parties of targeting it over “irrelevant issues” because they had nothing to attack the party on its agenda of development.
BJP secretary Siddharth Nath Singh also defended party MLA Som over his comment that “befitting reply will be given as was done in Muzaffarnagar” if innocents were framed, saying there was nothing “objectionable” in it.
“In a democracy if an innocent is forcibly made a culprit, then it amounts to murder of democracy. I don’t think there is anything objectionable in what he said… The Samajwadi government has done nothing in the state. They (critics) have nothing to attack us on the issue of good governance and development. So they are raising irrelevant issues,” he said.
As tension mounted in Bisara, Akhlaq’s elder brother Jameel Ahmad said no innocent person should be punished for his brother’s killing.
“I want justice but innocent persons should not be implicated in the case. Real culprits should be punished,”
Sartaj, another brother of the deceased, said the family members should be left alone as they do not want to meet any visitor.
With many leaders making a beeline to the village, the District Magistrate has restricted entry of politicians or others who could create ruckus.
Asked about the visit of Som who addressed a public meeting yesterday and accused Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav of “shielding cow killers”, the DM said Som’s convoy was stopped one km from the village and only the BJP leader and his security persons were allowed to proceed.
He has sought explanation from the ADM and SDM as to how people were allowed to assemble and hold meetings when Section 144 is in force.
The district authorities are faced with another problem of hacking with trouble makers using IDs of others to spread rumours.
“We have pressed the Cyber Cell to help in the investigation. Yes, many people are using others’ network by hacking. We have filed an FIR against Manoj Kumar but the ID which was traced does not match with his photograph,” the DM said.
Meanwhile, Jarcha Police Station in-charge Subodh Kumar said police custody would be sought of accused Vishal and Shivam who are in 14-day judicial custody.
Police said a home guard was questioned along with several others but his role in the incident was yet to be ascertained.
Yesterday, Akhilesh Yadav met the victim’s family and promised that the guilty will be brought to book. He had also
announced financial assistance to the family totalling Rs.45 lakh.
Congress has attacked the BJP and the Narendra Modi government over the incident and said all progressive thinking people should stand up against it.
Indian Air Force today promised to extend all help to the air warrior, whose father was lynched. IAF said it was in
touch with local authorities and the family will be moved to an IAF area if they so desire.
“We are extending whatever help is required. We are in constant touch, not only with him and his family, but also local authorities. Everybody is considerate and they are trying their best to help him and the family. Whatever needs to be done, it is being done,” IAF chief Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha told reporters here on the sidelines of an event.
Asked if Corporal Mohammad Sartaj’s family will be moved to an Air Force area, Raha said, “It is up to him to decide, once he makes the decision, we will help him”.
Asserting that such acts cannot be accepted, Raha had said senior officers were in touch with Sartaj and his family.
While Sartaj’s father died, his brother is admitted to hospital with severe injuries after they were attacked in Dadri on September 30.