JAIPUR: The political footprint of the Alwar lynching grew on Monday with the lone eyewitness to the mob attack claiming the assailants had bragged, “The MLA Sahib is with us. No one can even touch us.”
The mob was referring to BJP MLA Gyan Dev Ahuja, who has already sought to blame the Alwar police for lynching victim Rakbar Khan’s death.
According to the statement given to the police by Aslam, who along with Rakbar was taking a couple of cows to Haryana in the wee hours on Saturday when they were attacked by Gau Rakshaks, five of the seven assailants kept making offensive statements while beating Rakbar up.
Aslam’s statement, recorded at his Kolgaon village in Nooh district in Haryana, said they were returning on foot to their village after purchasing two cows from Khanpur in Alwar.
A bike came from the opposite side and the scared cows jumped into a nearby field. When both Rakbar and Aslam went to catch the cows, they found themselves surrounded by seven persons with laathis. The mob caught and assaulted Rakbar with sticks.
Aslam somehow managed to flee. The mob addressed each other by name and Aslam remembers five - Vijay, Dharmendra, Paramjeet, Naresh and Suresh. That was when he heard them brag about the local MLA, too.
Last year, after Pahlu Khan’s lynching allegedly over cow smuggling, Gyan Dev Ahuja had sparked off a huge controversy saying: “Any person smuggling cows would have to suffer a similar fate.”
“The preliminary investigation suggests there was an error in prioritising the situation,” Special DGP (law and order) N R K Reddy, a member of the committee, admitted.
BJP MLA Gyan Dev Ahuja even justified his stand by saying, “After Pehlu Khan’s death last year he explained to the people that cow smuggling has reduced drastically and in case any such incident gets reported, the concerned person should be handed to the police. Justice will serve its course.”
Analysts say politics of the three-time MLA revolves around controversial statements and he does not have good relations with Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje. Ahuja regards himself as a senior leader and wanted to be in Raje’s ministry. But Raje never took him seriously and that annoyed Ahuja, who last year resigned from seven committees including the chairmanship of the committee of estimates of the state government. His critics believe that his ticket might be cut this time.
On Aslam’s statement to police mentioning his name, Ahuja replies sharply, “All this is rubbish and just cooked up canards against me. I have not even been in Alwar for the past two months as my wife is ill. I was told about this incident much after it happened. The government is free to check my mobile details. I think this is a calculated campaign to malign my image.”
Clearly, the verbal war between the Raje government and its controversial MLA could greatly intensify.