Greater Noida: Tension prevailed in a village in Dadri after a 50-year-old man was beaten to death and his son seriously injured by a mob which barged into their house following rumours that the family had consumed beef.
Around 200 persons attacked the residence of Iqlakh on Monday night after rumours spread in the village that a cow has been slaughtered and the beef was stored in his house, police said onWednesday.
The mob allegedly beat Iqlakh to death while his 22-year-old son Danish was critically injured in the attack and is undergoing treatment at a hospital, they said.
An FIR has been filed against 10 people for attacking the family, six of whom were arrested, police said. PAC and additional police force from Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr and Hapur has been deployed in Bisrakh area to prevent any communal flare-up, Senior Superintendent of Police of Gautam Budh Nagar, Kiran S, said.
Narrating the ordeal, Jaan Mohammad, a relative of the victim, said, "An announcement was made in a local temple that a cow has been slaughtered here, following which a large number of people attacked our family."
The victim's daughter said the mob stormed the house and assaulted her father and brother. "They harassed me and also beat up my grandmother," she said.
The attackers looked into the fridge for beef, but it was only goat's meet which had been brought for Eid, another woman relative said, claiming that police had later confirmed it.
"Yes there was meat in our fridge, but it was not cow's meet. It was goat's meet. In own bowl was cooked meat and in another bowl it was uncooked," she said. The family alleged that the attackers also looted jewellery. Cow slaughter is banned in Uttar Pradesh.
A magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the incident and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh for the family of the victim. He also instructed the District Magistrate and Senior Superintendent of Police, Noida to provide full protection to the family of the victim. Chief Medical Officer, Noida has been asked to personally ensure best care for the victim, officials said.
As the rumours spread, villagers blocked a highway in Bisrakh area yesterday demanding death penalty for those involved in the slaughter. When police tried to control the mob, a clash ensued in which one person identified as Rahul Yadav was shot at.
District Magistrate of Gautam Budh Nagar N P Singh said there have been protests by villagers demanding action against those involved in the slaughter of a cow. "We have formed peace committees to restore communal harmony in the area," the DM said.
Terming the incident as 'painful', Union Minister Mahesh Sharma, who is BJP MP from Noida, said it happened due to 'misunderstanding' and dismissed allegations that it was an attempt to polarise the village ahead of panchayati polls there.
Sharma said he has also organised a meeting between the two groups in the village in view of the tension there. "It's a painful incident. Both the so called groups belong to same village living there for years together. Nobody should take law into his hands," Sharma said.
Asked about allegations that the incident was an attempt to polarise voters ahead of panchayat elections in that area, he said, "This incident was like action and reaction and not because of any organised plan".
BJP district president Thakur Harish Singh charged, "The police did not react on time. The locals gave samples of meat to the police but they did not take it seriously. Then some people got agitated. We urge people to restore peace."
Former BJP MLA Nawab Singh Nagar said he had met the family and denied there was any 'conspiracy'.
"It is very sad when a person is killed in this way. The incident was not a conspiracy," he said, adding that a sudden rush of blood could have precipitated the situation.