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Home > Communalism Repository > India: My Visit to Bisahra (Dadri)

India: My Visit to Bisahra (Dadri)

by V.K. Tripathi, 9 June 2016

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sacw.net - 9 June 2016

On September 28, 2015, Mohammad Akhlaq, a 50 year old ironsmith/ welder from Village Bisahra in Dadri Tehsil of Gautam Buddha Nagar (Noida) district of UP was lynched to death by a mob on the rumor of possessing beef in his home. At that time reports said the meat sample from his home was not beef. An announcement was made over a mike from a temple that a calf had been killed. That aroused passions. A huge mob attacked Akhlaq home, dragged him to the road and beat him brutally. He succumbed to injuries. His son Danish also got critically injured but survived. Eight months later came a report from Forensic Lab Mathura, saying that the sample was beef. The mysterious part is why the lab, that normally takes a week to give its report, took 8 months to give its report? Two days later VHP, RSS, Shiv Sena activists reached there and held a meeting with locals demanding FIR against Akhlaq family for possessing beef and release of all the 18 alleged culprits arrested in the case. It alarmed me. I decided to visit the village.

On June 7, 2016 I left home (Delhi) at 7:30 AM, took metro and bus to reach Dadri at 10 AM. I learned that Bisahra was 4 km from there. I started walking. When I was half way, a B.Com student, Sonu, from nearby village offered me ride on his motor bike. He appreciated the purpose of my visit and said that he belonged to Dalit community. He dropped me at the entry point of Bisahra. As I walked, I saw an aanganwadi. I went inside and talked to the lady in charge. She was nice. However, I was struck by her reply to my queries. She said the UP government was doing politics, when lab has confirmed beef, all the people arrested must be released. When I countered by saying two things why the report surfaced 8 months later and can we take some body’s life for possessing beef- she saw some reasoning.

Bisahra has a population of 10,000 (5500 votes). It has all the castes but is predominantly a Thakur village with 30-40 Muslim families (all landless). It has a decades old grant in aid Sr. Secondary School, Rana Sangram Singh Inter College with 1600 students and 20 teachers. Akhla had studied in this school. Last year his son Danish was studying here.

I went to newly elected Village Pradhan (Chief of Gram Sabha). He was not home but his children and father were there. Son, a 12th grade student, looked straight forward. He said that there were good relations between Hindus and Muslims. Recently Hindus participated in a wedding in a Muslim family. When I asked about the recently held Panchayat with RSS VHP people he said that it was not a Panchayat, his father did not call it. Some people from outside came and held a meeting with some locals. Regarding Akhlaqq’s murder he said that he had heard that a polythene bag with parts of cow was found at a garbage spot. Some one said Akhlaqq had thrown it. Some people asked the temple priest to make an announcement on mike. That infuriated people. I tried to argue the ferocity of crime of killing a man for an animal, the children found substance in what I said.

From there I went deep into the village. At the canal I met a retired school teacher. He listened to my arguments. Then I went to Rana SS Inter College. Officiating Principal offered me seat. He said Akhlaq was his class fellow. He had rented a room to him in the school building for his ironsmith and welding work. Akhlaq had good relations with every body. His son Danish was our student. When I asked for his version of the incident, he said due to problem in his eyes, he was unable to go to the locality where Akhlaq lived. He had heard from PAC that a bag with parts of a cow was found at a garbage point. I said PAC is known for Maliana Hashimpura kind of incidents. How could you fit in waste parts of an animal in a polythene bag. He said the people arrested in this connection were all below 25 years and some of them had studied in that school and were not known for wrong doings. I offered to give lectures, one in Physics and one on humanity, in his school when school opens in July. He gladly accepted it.

I walked to Akhlaq’s home. The little two storyed old style house gave a deserted look. The family had moved to some where not known to local people, So were the families of his brothers. In his neighborhood lives an accountant. I talked to him. He said that his nephew was in jail in this connection. He showed where Akhlaq was dragged on the road and attacked. The whole thing was very wrong. Mob can’t cross its limits. His response gave me some comfort. I met a milk man whose brother was in prison. He said the announcement from the temple led to gathering of two thousand people. His brother was innocent.

With sad exposure I left the village at 130 PM. After I walked 3 km, an engineer from the village offered me ride on his motorbike. Talking to him was more depressing. He dropped me at Dadri bus stop. I never expected villagers to remain insensitive to the agony of lynching of a simple man even after 8 months. Fanatic organizations have got an immense weapon in the issue of cow to humiliate, discriminate and, kill people. It is not a failure of Congress or liberal political parties alone. It is a failure of civil society. In our schools and colleges, in our training institutes, bureaucracy, administration, markets all over sectarian mindset prevails. Organized structure of liberal forward looking culture (truth seekers or Satyagrahis) is mandatory for the survival of nation.