NOIDA:Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma on Thursday termed the brutal lynching of 45-year-old Ikhlaq by a frenzied mob in Bisrakh village at Dadri in Greater Noida an ‘accident’, claiming that ‘some misunderstanding’ had led to the incident.
Ikhlaq was dragged out of his residence and bludgeoned with bricks for allegedly eating beef after an announcement on it was made in the local temple. His son Danish was critically injured in the attack. However, Sharma, BJP MP from Gautam Buddh Nagar district, said, “This (incident) should be considered an accident without giving any communal colour to it.” He further said, “About 10-12 houses of other communities are in the outlying part of the village, but no incident concerning them has happened.”
Shocked by his comments, the bereaved family has decided to move out of the village. “Our lives are in danger. I am planning to move from here because this can happen again anytime,” asked Sartaj, Iqlakh’s eldest son, who serves in the IAF. Ikhlaq’s wife has demanded a CBI inquiry into the incident. Recalling the incident, she said, “They were banging our doors and abusing us. They entered the house by jumping a wall from the other side.”
Seven suspects have been arrested in the case. SP (Rural) Sanjay Singh said a priest at the local temple, who made the announcement, and two youth, who allegedly forced him to do that, were “major links”.
Meanwhile, a political slugfest began with the Samajwadi Party accusing the BJP of inciting violence. “The BJP has been inciting large-scale violence in UP ahead of the 2017 assembly polls,” alleged UP Minister Azam Khan. BJP MP Yogi Adityanath countered him, asserting that lawlessness under the SP Government was the reason.
Amid mounting criticism, Sharma announced that he will visit Ikhlaq’s family.