In a horrific incident in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, a 50-year-old man was beaten to death by a mob on Monday. His crime? Rumours were that he ate beef.
Mohammad Akhlaq had been living in the area for over 30 years. He was allegedly dragged out of his house by villagers after rumours broke out that he had eaten beef along with his family.
Akhlaq’s 22-year-old son was also targeted by the villagers and they were both beaten with bricks. While Akhlaq died before he could be taken to an hospital, his son is currently battling for his life.
According to reports, before assaulting Akhlaq and his son, the mob broke into their house and even assaulted the women that were present inside. Recalling the horrible incident, Akhlaq’s wife told the media:
“My husband was bleeding. His head was smashed. They beat the family…my husband had no enemies…,”
The mob went on a rampage like beings possessed and were still beating the men when the police arrived.
On further inquiry Akhlaq’s daughter told police that they only had mutton in their fridge and they had no idea how the beef rumours started.
The police have arrested six men who were present at the spot and were caught beating Akhlaq and his son.
The meat has been sent for forensic testing. The police are also investigating how the beef rumours started. Senior police officer S Kiran informed the media that they were investigating the matter and more people would be arrested soon:
“We found out that the people beat them because they consumed cow meat. More people will be arrested.”
The announcement of more arrests led to tensions in the area with villagers clashing with the police forcing the latter to fire in the air. While the police didn’t comment on the firing, villagers claim that the police firing led to a boy being injured. The news about the attack on Akhlaq has started a social media outcry with various accounts of the story making it to social platforms. Not taking any chances, the district administration has warned trouble-makers, with the district magistrate NP Singh announcing that the guilty would be punished:
“If a digital war against communal harmony is initiated then the guilty will be punished. But our first concern is to stop any such thing and we are working on it.”