Hapur lynching: where was the cow, asks villagers

Hapur lynching: where was the cow, asks villagers

The apex court directed a senior Uttar Pradesh police officer to probe the Hapur lynching, terming the allegations of the survivor as "serious". PTI File photo

Another four days and it will be two months since a man was lynched and another seriously injured by a mob over allegations of slaughtering a cow, here.

While 45-year-old Qasim, from Pilkhuwa, succumbed to injuries, 65-year-old Samiuddin of Madapur village, is battling for his life at a hospital in Ghaziabad.

The Supreme Court yesterday took note of a petition by Samiuddin that he and his kin were living in a state of fear as the police forced them to lodge a complaint of road rage instead of lynching over alleged cow slaughter.

The apex court directed a senior Uttar Pradesh police officer to probe the Hapur lynching, terming the allegations of the survivor as "serious".

During a conversation with PTI, locals of Madapur said Samiuddin had to attend a funeral on June 18. “Samiuddin's son had gone to another village for work (as a construction labourer). Who else would fetch fodder for his cattle? Unsure of when he would return from the funeral, Samiuddin decided to cut the jowar before going out,” a man from the village said.

“Samiuddin was cutting fodder in his field, which is equidistant from the Muslim-majority Madapur and Hindu-majority Bajheda Khurd villages when the mob surrounded him,” said a man, who did not wish to be identified.

"He was hit by clods, bricks, locally-made sickle, absolutely anything that the mob could lay hands on," said another local.

Before the Hapur lynching made it to mainstream media, a purported video of the assault had gone viral on the internet.

Another local claimed there was no cow or knife at the scene of the crime, other than a sickle to cut fodder. “The uproar was over a cow, but there was no cow at the spot. There was no cow or knife or axe. Samiuddin had a sickle to cut fodder on his one-and-a-half bigha land,” he said.

“The police showed that a motorcycle hit a boy after which the public started thrashing them (Qasim and Samiuddin),” one of Samiuddin's neighbours said.

An elderly man from the village said he was in Ghaziabad when somebody told him over the phone about the incident.

“The man said a mob from Bajheda had taken two of our villagers. I asked him to call the village head. The village head was not there. So the villagers called on the police emergency number,” he said, adding, "The policemen arrived there but the mob did not stop and killed Qasim.”

The elderly man recalled that there has hardly ever been any incident of violence in his village, and certainly none of this magnitude. “There have been minor scuffles over time. Once, 15 years ago, a stick fight broke out due to stream water dispute. Three-four people were injured in the incident,” he said.

Samiuddin in his plea to SC has sought setting up of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to ensure "an impartial, competent and fair investigation" into "the barbaric incident of mob lynching on June 18 in Hapur district, wherein Samiuddin and Qasim, both belonging to the minority community, were targeted and mercilessly assaulted by a mob of the majority community from the neighbouring village, in the name of cow vigilantism." 

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