‘Who gained from it?’ asks villagers, 3 yrs after Akhlaq’s lynching by cow vigilantes

Bisada: Little did Mohammed Akhlaq knew that he would be lynched to death by cow vigilantes over rumors that spread faster than fire in Bisada region on September 27, 2015.

Ever since Akhlaq was lynched to death in his homes by cow vigilantes over rumour of Akhlaq storing beef in his house, India has since then witnessed this mob cruelty who think they are above the law in the country, TOI reported.

It took almost three years to the ruling government to think of enacting a law to curb this crime only after SC’s directions came.

Akhlaq was just like any other resident in Bisada area of Rajput village but never did he imagine living in a place of a different community could end his life in the most tragic way.

“In the end, who gained from it?” asks Chhotu Khan, a question that lingers the area of Bisada. Was the rumor even true or did anyone care to probe the matter asks the resident.

Khan works with a private firm. He says since the brutal crime still remains as a question, “one should find out if those who orchestrated the entire incident have if at all, stood to gain in any manner from it.”

Looking at what Bisada has now turned into after witnessing Akhlaq’s murder living life has become easy for them who have long forgotten about the incident and the human they killed based on rumours.

“We still invite each other for marriages and functions. We socialise with everyone, irrespective of the community,” says Iqbal Khan (50), who works in the local water supply department of a government agency.

“I have been living with my family in this village for several years. A couple of Muslim families indeed left the village after the incident. But no one ever forced us to leave. There has been no incident of violence or fight after the death of Akhlaq. We have never been threatened,” says another resident Nissar (46).

Whereas no one wants to talk about the 18 accused named in the police charge sheet after Akhlaq’s death. This is the kind of justice citizen’s await in India.

One of accused Arun Rana (32), claims he has no idea why his name was included in the charge sheet.

“There was a crowd of nearly 1,000 people that mobbed Akhlaq’s house. We don’t know why police zeroed in on us. My family had to incur Rs 7 lakh in legal expenses to get me released from jail. It has strained our finances,” he says.

Majority of the assailants or accused were in their early 20s while they claim they were innocent and have no idea about why their names where written in the charge sheet.

The accused Rana used to work as an assistant to a veterinarian in a government hospital before the incident in September 2015 and now has switched his work and joined farm business after spending 17 months in prison.

Another accused Vishal Rana (23) has left his pharmacy studies and joined family farm business located along borders of Bisada, Pyaoli, tamolipur villages.

“I don’t wish to pursue studies any longer. Jail was a terrible experience. I don’t know what to do with my life either. I spend my time away from the village to avoid questions on the incident and unwanted conversations,” says Vishal.

Vishal’s family is now concerned about him for falling into criminal activities for being in prison and are safe while they are with their families.

“But once away from home, we don’t know what they will do. This is a constant fear all the families of the accused have. So we take good care of them,” he says.

Though the Police has registered Fir and charge sheet on 19 men one accused was let off for lack of evidence while another accused, Ravin, died in judicial custody. All others are out on bail, and the trial is yet to begin.