After a wait of four hours, AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal meets widow, family of Mohammed Iqlakh. Rahul Gandhi, too, drops by, as cops arrest two accused
Greater Noida: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday met the bereaved family of Mohammed Iqlakh, who was lynched following rumours that he had eaten beef, and described the brutal murder as “unfortunate”.
Rahul Gandhi meets the family of Mohammed Iqlakh, who was lynched by a mob, at Bisara village in Dadri. Pic/PTI
Close on the heels of Kejriwal, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi also visited the bereaved family. Police, meanwhile, arrested two more people, including the son of a local BJP leader, taking the total number of arrests in the case to eight. Two other accused are on the run.
A woman stops Arvind Kejriwal from entering Bisara village, in Dadri. Pic/PTI
The Aam Aadmi Party leader was allowed to meet the 50-year-old man’s widow and mother after he waited patiently for about four hours at a guest house after being initially barred by the police from reaching Bisara village.
After meeting the family of the victim, one of whose sons is in the Indian Air Force (IAF), Kejriwal said: “This incident is unfortunate and completely against humanity.” Iqlakh was allegedly dragged out of his house and lynched after rumours spread that he slaughtered a cow, an animal venerated by Hindus.
The family has denied the charge, saying they only ate mutton. Kejriwal said: “Neither Hindus nor Muslims benefited (from the killing). Only political parties and their leaders took advantage of the incident.” “One party wants to make Hindus its vote bank, while another is eyeing Muslim votes by poisoning relations between Hindus and Muslims,” he added. Earlier in the day, over 500 Hindu women blocked roads leading to the village.
They took out a procession, claiming journalists and politicians were biased in favour of the victim’s community. As a result, police were looking for young Hindu men with a view to arrest them, they complained. Many said they lived with Muslims and helped them build their shelters and mosque. Some of the villagers attacked the vehicles of a few journalists.
Kejriwal spent about half an hour in the village and listened to the woes of the Hindu families as well. He wanted to know why he and his colleagues were stopped by police and the administration when union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma as well as Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi were allowed to enter the village on Friday. “Why me? I am most peace loving,” Kejriwal tweeted.
“I am being accused of doing politics. Yes, I am doing politics. But I am doing politics of unity and love, they are doing politics of hatred. On the other hand, the Congress asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to break his “silence” and condemn the Dadri lynching incident. Commenting on Rahul Gandhi’s visit, Congress leader RPN Singh said, “I am proud that Rahul Gandhi is there in Dadri. He has raised his voice against such condemnable act.”