It has been two days since her son was beaten to death over rumours about beef consumption, but not one resident of Bisara village has come to their house to express their condolences, said Askari, the 75-year old mother of Mohammad Akhlaq.
For at least two generations, the village has been home to the family of Akhlaq, the 50-year-old agricultural labourer who was beaten to death over rumours of cow slaughter and beef consumption on Monday night. “No one has come to share our grief,” said Aksari.
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The family has now been forced to search for a house outside the area.
“How can we live in a place where five members of our family were attacked by thousands of residents from the same village,” asked Askari as she covered her swollen right eye, allegedly bruised during the attack.
At around 10 pm on Monday, a mob, allegedly comprising residents of the village, dragged Akhlaq out of his home and beat him to death. His 20-year-old son Danish was seriously injured in the attack; he is in a critical condition in a Noida hospital, said doctors.
The incident took place after rumours about the family killing a cow and storing its meat in their house spread in the village.
Askari witnessed the attack along with her 40-year-old daughter-in-law Ikraman and granddaughter Saijda. Akhlaq’s elder son, 27-year-old Sartaj who is a technician in the Air Force, was in Chennai at the time of th incident. His other daughter, 25-year-old Mumtaz, was at her husband’s house in Ghaziabad.
“Once our child (Danish) is treated and he is in a stable condition, we need to make arrangements to live somewhere else. Who will buy this house? The government should help us out,” said Askari.
Though her son had worked as a farm hand for several landholders in the village, not one person came forward to help them that night, said Aksari.
“Many people who once used to visit us, were part of the mob that night. When we cried for help, not a single neighbour came to our rescue. Nobody from Bisara came forward to help us that night,” she said.
“How can we live in this place? How can we trust anyone? We are scared to let people enter our house. We don;t know what their intentions are. They can do anything to us,” added Askari.
Her granddaughter Sajida is not sure if her brother Danish will survive the attack.
“He was studying at a polytechnic Institute. He had his entire life ahead of him. But we don’t know if he will survive,” said an inconsolable Saijda.
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