Main accused BJP leader’s son, one other arrested for killing Iqlakh in Dadri

Dadri (UP): Two juveniles, alleged to be the main accused in the lynching of a man over suspected beef consumption in Bishada in Dadri were arrested today as uneasy calm continued to prevail in the village where the situation was claimed to be under control.

The main accused, identified as Shivam and Vishal, were arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police on Saturday, news agency ANI reported.

According to CNN-IBN, Shivam is the son of local BJP leader Sanjay Rana.

Two youngsters, both aged 18 years, were arrested from their hideout in a locality close to Bishada, the scene of Monday night killing of 50-year-old Mohammed Iqlakh, taking the total number of arrests to eight, police said.

Iqlakh was dragged out of his home and stoned to death on a village street after a public announcement from the local temple that the family had slaughtered a calf and eaten its meat. While Iqlakh died, his 22-year-old son Danish is battling for life at a hospital following two brain surgeries.

Meanwhile, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today visited the bereaved family, with the latter deprecating attempts at communalising the tragedy.

After being initially stopped by the local administration from visiting the village in Dadri in Uttar Pradesh on Delhi’s outskirts, Kejriwal met the grieving family and lashed out at political parties “spreading poison” between Hindus and Muslims for votebank politics.

Bishada’s uneasy tryst with unprecedented media glare and steady stream of politicians erupted in anger as locals forced the administration to prevent Kejriwal and some state Congress leaders from entering the village. They were, however, later allowed inside.

The authorities said they have sealed the village following a request from the victim’s son for “peace” in their hour of grief.

District Magistrate N P Singh had yesterday said the victim’s son Sartaj had given a written request that the family does not want to meet anyone as a steady stream of visitors was causing harassment to them.

“One political party is trying to consolidate Hindu vote bank, while another is trying to make Muslim their vote bank by spreading poison between the two communities. It is wrong,” Kejriwal later said.

“If somebody thinks Hindu religion is in danger and that is why Muslims are being targeted, then he cannot be a Hindu,” he said.

After Congress and some other parties questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on the incident, Kejriwal asked him to visit the village to “reassure” the residents.

“Many political leaders have visited Dadri. But PM is silent till now. People will be happy if PM also visited and reassured victims and villagers,” Kejriwal tweeted, hours after his visit to Bishada.

The Chief Minister questioned why AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi and Union Minister Mahesh Sharma were not stopped by the administration yesterday from visiting the family and alleged that other parties were vitiating the atmosphere for political gains.

“What happened in Dadri was against humanity. It was totally wrong. Who benefited from it, neither Hindus nor Muslims. Only political parties and politicians are benefiting,” Kejriwal said.

Owaisi had yesterday termed the brutal killing of Mohammed Iqlakh by a 200-strong mob on Monday night following rumours that he and his family had slaughtered a calf and eaten its meat as a “pre-planned murder” because of the victim’s religious persuasion.

The local BJP MP and Union Minister Mahesh Sharma had called the shocking incident as an “accident” and said while the guilty, who bludgeoned Iquakh to death, be brought to book, innocent Hindus should not be harassed in the name of investigation.

Even the District Magistrate had yesterday said the visitors were trying to “communalise” the issue which was a matter of concern.

Rahul Gandhi, who recently returned from abroad, also visited Bishada and met the family members of Iqlakh. “In Dadri to meet Mohammad Akhlaq’s family,” he tweeted after meeting them.