The son of a local leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party and an Uttar Pradesh Homeguards constable were reportedly arrested by the police for their alleged complicity in the grisly lynching of a Muslim blacksmith and his son on the suspicion of slaughtering and consuming a cow, according to media reports.
The Times of India reported that two youths -- Vishal and Shivam - were picked up from the Noida bus depot when they were trying to leave the city, said deputy superintendent of police Anurag Singh said. TOI claimed that Vishal is the son of local BJP leader Sanjay Rana, whose name is mentioned in its FIR lodged by the family of Mohammad Akhlaq, 50, and Mohammad Danish, 22, who were lynched in front of his house in the Bisara village of Dadri in Uttar Pradesh.
Akhlaq died of his injuries.
TOI stated that it was the only paper to report this. Vishal, it said, worked in an advertising company in Okhla while Shivam is a student.
However, the Indian Express reported that an Uttar Pradesh Homeguards constable, Vinay, a resident of Bisara who was posted at the Jarcha police station, has been detained. Vinay, the IE report claimed, allegedly forced the temple priest to make the announcement about Akhlaq's family storing and consuming beef.
Vishal and Shivam, the TOI report said were among the four main accused and the other two, Saurabh and Rupender, are absconding. Vishal and Shivam said they had seen the remains of the cow and led Vinay, who reportedly had an enmity with Akhlaq's family, to the temple. Vinay allegedly had been instigating people to attack Akhlaq's family.
An uneasy calm prevailed in Bisara as Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal paid a visit to the bereaved family, with the latter deprecating attempts at communalizing the tragedy.
After being initially stopped by the local administration from visiting the village in Dadri, Kejriwal met the grieving family and lashed out at political parties "spreading poison" between Hindus and Muslims for votebank politics.
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. The Chief Minister questioned why AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi and Union Minister Mahesh Sharma were not stopped by the administration 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.
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. (With inputs from PTI)