Union Minister Mahesh Sharma Friday visited the family of Mohammad Akhlaq, who was killed by a mob Monday following rumours that he and his family were storing and consuming beef, and demanded a CBI probe into the killing — which he continued to maintain was “an unfortunate accident”.
“If someone claims the incident was pre-planned, I completely refute this. What happened was an accident. It is unfortunate. An investigation by the CBI should be conducted,” Sharma said.
Apart from Akhlaq’s family, Sharma, a BJP MP from Noida, met residents of Bisara at Bada Mandir — where the announcement that led to the attack was allegedly made.
Six people have been arrested in connection with the murder. “Everyone will get justice, they (Akhlaq’s family) will get justice. The youth (yuva) who have gone to prison will also get justice,” Sharma said.
At the victim’s home, when Akhlaq’s mother Asgari pleaded for help, Sharma said, “What happened was not right. We are with you. We are aware of your troubles. I had gone to the hospital — Danish’s condition has improved. He opened his eyes today and recognised his brother. Please pray. If the almighty wishes, Danish will be back with you very soon. We will do everything possible to ensure that Danish gets the best possible treatment.”
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Danish, Akhlaq’s son, was also attacked by the mob. Doctors at Kailash Hospital, which Sharma owns, said he is showing signs of improvement but is still on ventilator in the ICU.
“I want a full inquiry in this case and the guilty should be punished,” he said.
“For the last 70 years, these people have been living in harmony. It was a sporadic event. It should not be given a communal colour… This is a big blotch on our culture,” he said. “Those calling for my resignation are indulging in politics. An accident occurred. A question is being asked repeatedly whether it was an accident (hadsa) or a thought-out conspiracy. I want to tell all who want to spread communalism or do politics that people have been living in that village amicably for 70 years,” he added.
At the temple, locals expressed concern about the youths from the village being arrested. “We opened our doors and gave away our children to them (police) as they were investigating the incident. But they have been arrested… Our patience is being tested,” said one resident.
Promising that Muslims will be given adequate protection, Sharma said, “Two other families live with the affected family in the middle of the village and their walls are adjoining. About 10-12 houses of the other community are in the outlying part of the village, but no incident concerning them has happened.”
“Muslims should live here, their security will be taken care of by everyone present here. They will live as brothers,” he added.