India beef lynching premeditated, says inquiry

Panel from India's National Commission for Minorities concludes a Hindu temple had been used to plan the attack

Web Desk October 22, 2015
Mohammad Akhlaq’s relatives mourn his death in the Bisara village of Uttar Pradesh. PHOTO: AFP

UTTAR PRADESH: A commission of inquiry in India has concluded that the lynching of a man over rumours he kept and consumed beef was planned and not spontaneous.

A panel from the National Commission for Minorities board visited the village of Bisada near New Delhi to investigate the case of Mohammad Akhlaq, a Muslim, who was beaten to death over rumours that he and his family had been consuming beef.

The panel concluded a Hindu temple had been used to plan the attack.

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Basing Akhlaq's lynching on pure spontaneity rather than a planned attack seems questionable noting the ability of so many people to gather within minutes "at a time when most villagers claimed they were asleep. It seems to point to some premeditated planning," the report said.

However, government ministers from the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party have said the incident was not planned, but merely a result of anger.

Residents of the Bisara village in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, attacked the family of Muhammad Akhlaq, 50, on September 30 after a local temple reportedly spread rumours that some Muslims had been slaughtering cows, police officials said. Akhlaq himself was beaten to death while his 22-year-old son was severely wounded, they added.

Minorities under attack

The attack was based on the justification that the meat found in the fridge was beef. However, later tests showed it was goat meat.

Akhlaq's killing gave rise to a furious debate about religious tolerance, with some criticising Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not condemning the attack sooner. Two weeks later Modi responded, calling the incident "sad and undesirable."

Only Modi can stem the Hindu extremism he fanned: Kasuri

Muslims are the largest minority making up 13% of India’s 1.2 billion population. Hindus consider cows to be sacred, and for many, consumption of beef is unacceptable.

This article originally appeared on BBC News.


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