Monday, October 05, 2015

Fact-finding team on Dadri: Mobs didn't lynch Akhlaq, it was well-planned criminal conspiracy by a small group

By Our Representative
A six-person fact-finding team, consisting of six senior activists and writers, has said in a report that most people they talked in Bisara village of Dadri in western Uttar Pradesh showed “no visible sense of remorse” over the lynching of Akhlaq Mohammad on the night to September 28. The team members visited and surveyed the village on October 3.
Released by the South Asia Citizens Wire, the report said, the indifference to the killing was so high in the village that, while people talked of lynching as “sad”, it all looked “superficial.”
“While they claimed it was an unfortunate event, in the same breath people pointed out that it had been turned into a big issue by the media that has brought shame and bad name to this supposedly 'peaceful' 800 years old village”, the report said.
The team members consisted of Bonojit Hussain (New Socialist Initiative), Deepti Sharma (Saheli), Kiran Shaheen (writer and activist), Naveen Chander (New Socialist Initiative), Sanjay Kumar (People’s Alliance for Democracy) and Sanjeev Kumar (Delhi Solidarity Group).
“Leave aside any lack of remorse, the major reason people were agitated is that the 'media has only been focusing on Akhlaq’s death and his family'. It is not even mentioning the concerns of the 'other side' (the Hindus), ie 'Hindu youth being picked up randomly by the police'.”, the report said.
While Akhlaq was lynched, his son Danish is in hospital and is said to be critical. The team visited the village on the day when there were news reports that a thousand women had been mobilized to prevent the media from entering the village.
The report said that the cops as also the district magistrate warmed the team that the villagers were “very angry about outsiders coming in”. In fact, the cops, present to maintain peace in the village, strongly advised the team “not go in to the village” and also told it that “if something were to happen then it would not be their responsibility.”
Setting aside the view that a thousand-strong mob attacked Akhlaq's house, the report said the lane leading to the house is barely four feet wide and “cannot accommodate more than 20 people at a time”, adding, “It is unlikely that the mob which attacked could be a thousand strong. The heinous crime may actually be the handiwork of a much smaller number of people.”
The report insists, “The talk of a large mob may be a ruse to ’normalize’ the crime, and show it somehow enjoying a popular support. By all indications it appears that while there were a large number of young men who were part of his mob, there was a small group who actually murdered Akhlaq.”
It suspects, “The claim of a very large mob is also often a ruse to prevent identification of individuals involved under the obfuscated identity of thousands of people.”
The report further says, it is totally wrong to say the house was used for butchering a calf. “Houses are so cluttered and close to each other that it is impossible for Akhlaq to have butchered a calf in his house without the neighbours noticing it.” This is one reason why the “dominant narrative” has changed – from butchering the cow to beef found in his house”.
It insists, “A spontaneous mobs is not usually selective in their attack, in this case Akhlaq’s brothers’ house right next to his and was not even touched; in all likelihood the crime was not the result of a spontaneous mob fury. The crime was the result of a criminal conspiracy, known to a few people, but who were very sure that the people at large will not oppose them.”
Insisting on the need to “investigate” the role of Hindutva organizations active in the area in the name of ’cow protection’, the report said, “In fact, on our way out of the village, we noticed a Scorpio vehicle parked outside the village road on the arterial road, which had a flex banner on the rear windshield, which read “Hindu Gau Raksha Dal” (Hindu Cow Protection Party).”

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