Dadri: For the first time, accused remorse over Akhlaq lynching

DADRI: Four years after the gruesome communal murder of 52-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq by a frenzied mob, one of the suspects, have expressed remorse over the Dadri lynching incident that took plcae in Bisada.

“I was a minor then but now I feel that I should have stopped people as no human being should be killed for (killing) an animal,” the suspects, now 20, was quoted Hindustan Times as saying.

A mob had lynched Akhlaq and injured his son Danish after dragging them out of their home in Bishada village of Gautam Budh Nagar district on September 28, 2015, following rumours that they had slaughtered a cow and consumed beef.

The suspect, however, clarified that he did not attack Akhlaq, he “was only there”. “I was in jail for around a year and currently I am out on bail. I didn’t attack Akhlaq but I was there. I feel that the incident could have been avoided. But, our village will vote for the party who will stand for Hindus,” he said.

“We knew Akhlaq’s family well and never had any issues. Today, I feel that neither he was wrong nor were we, but still I feel extremely uncomfortable whenever I think about the incident. They were not our enemies. Everything happened in the spur of the moment. Nobody could think much at that time,” he said.

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A total of 18 persons, one died were accused in the case.

All the arrested are out on bail. “I was in jail for 21 months. But I never felt embarrassed because the villagers support us and know that we are innocent. We want a party which will stand for Hindus,” said Shree Om, 26, one of the suspects in the case.

“Two of my nephews have been booked for the murder of Akhlaq. We were friends with Akhlaq’s family as they lived next door. I have caste my vote, keeping the rights of Hindus in mind,” said Manju Devi, 42, who lives near Akhlaq’s house.

The house of Akhlaq lies locked and ruined after being abandoned by his family. The famile family shifted to Delhi to stay with Akhlaq’s elder son Sartaj Ahmed, who is with the Indian Air Force.

The UP government later handed over flats to the kin of Akhlaq but none of them could shift to the allotted residencies and continue to live in Delhi.