Asif Khan, who hailed from Mewat’s Khalilpur Kheda village, was lynched by a mob of Gujjar men on the 16 May night while he was returning from buying medicines, his family and neighbours said.
Asif is survived by three kids and a wife. Three sons who are 6 years old, 4 years old and five months old respectively.
The next day, hours after the family staged a protest for not burying Khan until the accused were arrested, Haryana’s Nuh Police arrested six men on the evening of 17 May and said that the hunt for the remaining accused is on.
The arrests were made after an FIR was registered against 14 named accused by Rozka Meo police station in Mewat. The complaint was registered by Asif’s father, Zakir Hussain.
The sections include: Section 148 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 302 (murder), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint), 365 (kidnapping and abducting a person) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 25 of the Arms Act.
The named accused according to the FIR accessed are Patwari alias Sandeep, Advani, Bheem, Rishi, Soni, Kota, Anoop, Balla, Nathu, Mahendra, Kuldeep, Raju, Kala, Sandeep and others. Most of the accused belong to the same village.
What Happened on the Evening of 16 May?
According to his neighbours, Khan, who was a bodybuilder and gym trainer, was on his way back from Sohna after he picked medicines for Typhoid when their vehicle was intercepted by three cars of at least fifteen people.
His father Zakir Hussain said, “On 16 May in the evening my son Asif along with my nephew Rashid (31) had gone to a medical store in Sohna to buy medicines. While they were on their way back they got in touch with Wasif (22), who they also gave a lift back home. This is when the accused, in three to four cars, repeatedly hit my son’s vehicle and eventually surrounded them from all sides.”
All three were beaten up. While Wasif is in critical condition, Rashid was beaten brutally but survived. Rashid, the eyewitness fit to speak to the media, said that the car overturned and they kept beating him and the other two. Explaining what he heard he said the mob said, “Unhone bola ki Mulleh, tum logo mein se ek ko bhi nahi chodenge aur ye bhi bola ki tum sab se hum jai Sri Ram bulvayenge. (They said they will not leave any of us alive and also said they will make us chant Jai Sri Ram)”
After thrashing him repeatedly, they pulled Asif out of the car and killed him, Rashid said. “This is when they picked on Asif and kidnapped him by taking him away in their car.” The FIR makes mention of how the accused had weapons on them.
“Asif’s hands and legs were broken on the spot by the accused. When we went around looking for my son, we found his body in Nangli.”Asif’s father Zakir said.
Khan was pulled out of his vehicle while the other two were left behind. “They then beat him up mercilessly till he was finally dumped, alive or dead, in Nangli village three kilometers away from Sohna. That is where the body was found.”
On 17 May there was heavy security in the village and the family said they will only bury him after the accused were arrested. After tensions of a few hours, the accused were arrested and Asif was buried.
‘Groups Used to Have Past Rivalry’
Locals in the village said that the boys had a fight three months ago.
One of Asif’s neighbours, 40-year-old Mohammad Ilyas who is a farmer, said, “Three months ago or so they had a fight. The police was called and there was a compromise that was struck to ensure peace. That is the history between them,” Ilyas said.
Other than Ilyas, Wasif also told the media that there was a small fight between the two in the past.
“Choti moti ranjish hui thi, lekin humein koi aitbaar nahi tha ki aisa kuch humla kar denge. (There was a small fight, but we had no idea that they would end up attacking us like this),” Rashid said.
These men are known to be criminals and are known to attack people, the villagers said.