Asif’s Father on Mahapanchayats: Won’t React As Things Will Worsen
“They are humiliating the Muslim community when they are the ones who killed my nephew,” Asif’s uncle Hanif said.
Reacting to the hate speech in the mahapanchayats that have been held in the defense of the accused who killed his son Asif, 47-year-old Zakir Hussain broke down from his home in Mewat and said, “All I want is justice for my son, they killed him so ruthlessly. His bones were broken and his face was smashed... they must be hung to death and all this that is happening in my country has deeply disturbed us as a family.”
Of the several mahapanchayats held in Kira village, Damdama village, Badauli village and Sohna town, the biggest one with reportedly 50,000 people was held in Indri village, which is only four kilometers from Asif and Zakir’s village called Khalilpur Kheda. The people in attendance included members of Karni Sena, Bharat Mata Vahini and local BJP leaders, who are seen justifying Asif’s murder and stoking hate through unsubstantiated allegations.
Asif’s family has heard what is being said at these meets through the various WhatsApp forwards doing the rounds, while they are disgusted and hurt by it, they also say it is important there is restraint and they don’t react.
Despite at least three complaints registered about a week ago, one from Anjum Hussain, councilor of ward number 4 where Indri village falls, another by Muslim Raksha Dal and a third by an advocate called Farukh Abdullah who sent a legal notice, SP Nuh Narendra Bijarniya said he was not sure of the number of complaints they had received yet.
“No FIRs have been registered against Amu Pal Singh and the Mahapanchayats yet. Everyone is busy, there is also COVID. We are still examining the entire situation, looking at the footage and understanding why so many people showed up there. The sequence of events is being understood. I will have an update for you in a week,” he said to The Quint indicating it may be a while before an FIR is formally registered.
Asif’s Uncle: They Are Trying to Openly Instigate Riots
“You heard right... you heard the hate he is spewing...,” Zakir said as he referred to the videos. Karni Sena president Suraj Pal Amu posted a video of himself from Indri, a video that continues to be posted on Facebook and has over 29,000 views with comments lauding him. He said according to this video:
“Asif was neither killed by Patwari nor Advani. If he was killed, he was killed because of his deeds. Everyone should have the courage to say this. Catch the culprits and release the innocents. We are not culprits! Our children are not culprits! They click nude pictures of our mothers and sisters, we should not even murder them?”
He continued, “Hindus are saying that Muslims are brothers, they are not brothers, they are butchers!”
Zakir and Asif’s uncle, Hanif, said they know why these mahapanchayats are happening.
“They are trying to instigate riots, want Hindus and Muslims to fight. They are challenging the police while humiliating the Muslim community when they are the ones who killed my nephew,” Hanif whose son Rashid was with Asif during the incident and was severely injured during the attack but had managed to escape and make calls home, said. “Rashid is recovering slowly,” Hanif said.
“These mahapanchayats are being conducted not to promote an environment of peace, or with an attempt to strike a compromise between families as is generally done by elders in villages, this is being done with the sole interest of creating more divisions.” Calling the men bullies, Zakir says:
“They want to scare us, pressurise us but that won’t happen. They want to scare the administration from not taking action, but we believe in the justice system. We are quiet because if we talk the matter will only worsen, it will become a bigger Hindu and Muslim issue, then innocents will lose their lives on all sides. How is that fair? That is why we are not saying anything at all.”
Several Accused in Asif Lynching Case Still Absconding
While the family waits patiently for a case to be registered against those who are justifying Asif’s murder, they are also waiting for several other accused in the case to be caught. As of when the story was published of the named accused, Asif’s family tells us that Advani, Bheem, Nathu, Balla, Rishi, Sonu and others continue to be absconding.
Asif was lynched by a mob of Gujjar men, most from his own village, on 16 May night, while he was returning from buying medicines from Sohna as he had Typhoid. His car was intercepted by the men in 3-4 cars. While Rashid, his cousin who was with him, managed to escape and call the family, Asif was kidnapped and his dead body found later in Nangloi.
Asif, who was a gym trainer, is survived by three kids and a wife. Three sons who are 6 years old, 4 years old and five months old respectively.
An FIR was registered on Zakir’s complaint under 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 on 17 May at the Rok Ka Meo police station.
The family said the accused and Asif had had a few fights over the years but no one expected they would go to the extent of killing him.
SP Nuh said that the investigation was over and now teams were looking for the men, “I can not divulge more information to you about the investigation in the case,” he said.
There is continued police presence in the village on the side where the Gujjars live and due to the mahapanchayats there is definitely tension in Mewat.
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