File FIR against Ikhlaq's family in 20 days, Dadri residents warn police
Greater Noida: Tension returned to Bishada village in Dadri on Monday, after nine months of peace, as the family members of those accused of the Dadri lynching and residents defied prohibitory orders and held a panchayat to demand that an FIR be lodged against victim Mohammed Ikhlaq’s family for cow slaughter.
The demand comes after a lab report on May 31 “established” that the meat found in the Dadri lynching victim’s house was that of a “cow or its progeny”. Since the report became public, the villagers, supported by some local leaders, had been pushing for a “mahapanchayat” and Dadri had been put on high alert.
Around 300 villagers of Bishada attended the panchayat at the temple in the centre of the village on Monday. It is the same temple from where the announcement on the night of September 28, 2015, had led to people gathering outside Ikhlaq’s house “to teach him a lesson” for allegedly storing cow meat in his house. Mohammed Ikhlaq was killed that night. In Monday’s meeting, senior villagers asked residents to give the district administration and police an ultimatum that they have 20 days to act on their demands, and, if the deadline was not met, they would call a “mahapanchayat” to decide their course of action.
“We met the SSP and demanded the registering of an FIR against the family of Ikhlaq,” said Sanjay Rana, father of Dadri lynching key accused Vishal.
Those in jail should be released: BJP leader
The Bharatiya Janata Party is being very vocal about its support of the demands of Dadri villagers. “The question is that cow slaughter had taken place. The report has come and now an FIR should be lodged against those involved in cow slaughter. Those who have been locked up in jail should be released. The compensation should be withdrawn. Government should take back the three houses given to them,” BJP leader Vinay Katiyar said on Monday.
Rana, who was formerly associated with the BJP, said, “In the forensic report it is evident that Akhlaq did slaughter a cow. The government must take back all the compensation they have given to his family. If our children are being tried as criminals, the family of Ikhlaq should also be treated like one.”
Villagers had met the SSP of Gautam Budh Nagar on Sunday and demanded that an FIR be registered against the family of Ikhlaq for slaughtering a cow and hurting their religious sentiments.
SSP Gautam Budh Nagar, Dharmendra Singh, said police officials are monitoring the situation in the village and that he is in touch with the villagers. “I met the villagers and ordered an inquiry into their demands. A senior police official has already initiated the inquiry,” he said.
Witnessing the entry of fringe group members into the village, we increased the police presence in the locality and asked officials of four nearby police stations to keep an eye on the situation,” he said, adding that a Provincial Armed Constabulary company has also been deployed as a precautionary measure.
“It was a simple gathering of villagers. It was a peaceful meeting that was conducted under the observation of police officials,” the SSP said. “The situation is under control,” district magistrate N.P. Singh said, adding that he has appealed to the residents not to resort to violence. “Political leaders should not politicise the matter as it is sub judice. Let the case proceed in court. They can put their views or evidence before the court. Nobody will be allowed to disturb law and order,” the DM said.
The Congress has criticised the statements of BJP leaders, saying they will vitiate the atmosphere. “Calling for a mahapanchayat and the statements being made after the forensic report came out are not proper. Whether it is the Centre or the state government, it should be stopped,” Congress leader P.L. Punia said.