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Uneasy calm in Bishada; Rahul Gandhi, Kejriwal meet victim’s family

Uneasy calm today prevailed in Bishada village where a man was lynched over suspected beef consumption as Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal paid a visit to the bereaved family, with the latter deprecating attempts to communalizing the tragedy.

After being initially stopped by the local administration from visiting the village in Dadri in Uttar Pradesh on Delhi’s outskirts, Kejriwal met the grieving family and lashed out at political parties “spreading poison” between Hindus and Muslims for votebank politics.

Bishada’s uneasy tryst with unprecedented media glare and steady stream of politicians erupted in anger as locals forced the administration to prevent Kejriwal and some state Congress leaders from entering the village. They were, however, later allowed inside.

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 yesterday 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.

Owaisi had yesterday termed the brutal killing of Mohammed Iqlakh by a 200-strong mob on Monday night following rumours that he and his family had slaughtered a calf and eaten its meat as a “pre-planned murder” because of the victim’s religious persuasion.

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.