Hapur Lynching: Police Covering Up Hate Crime? New Video Suggests So

Written by Tarique Anwar | Published on: June 25, 2018

A murderous mob killed one and critically injured another over the rumour of cow slaughter on June 18.
 

Hapur Lynching: Police Cover Up
 
On the afternoon of June 18, a new video surfaced purportedly showing 67-year-old Samiuddin, a resident of Madhapur Mustafabad in Hapur district of Uttar Pradesh, being brutally assaulted by a murderous mob on the rumour of cow slaughter. Now it is being alleged that the state police is trying to cover up the incident of mob lynching as a case of road rage.
Two men were brutally assaulted by a lynch mob at the district’s Bajhera Khurd village following a rumour that they were chasing a cow and its calf to catch them for slaughter. Md Qasim – a 45-year-old resident of Saddiqpur in the district – died in the attack, while Samiuddin suffered critical injuries and is undergoing treatment at a private hospital.

The police claim that the two people were assaulted after a scuffle with some bike-borne men from Bajhera Khurd village. They have registered a murder case and arrested two people. “We are probing the angle of cow slaughter as well because there are rumours in this regard. We have charged the accused under appropriate sections (302 – murder and 307 attempt to murder) of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) and the culprits will be brought to book,” said Hapur Superintendent of Police Sankalp Sharma.



But the family members of both victims are saying that the attack was a clear case of hate crime and not “road rage” as the cops are suggesting. “When I reached the hospital, I spotted an ink mark on my brother’s left thumb. When I inquired about that, he told me he has no memory. The police wrote something and asked us to sign. We were reluctant and that’s when they would have taken my brother’s thumb impression,” alleged Mehruddin, the elder brother of the man fighting for his life in hospital.

But the allegation has outrightly been denied by the UP police.

“The brother of Qasim, the man killed, gave a written complaint wherein he had said that his brother was killed in a brawl after few bike-borne men hit him. The investigation is still on. If either family files another complaint, we will include it in the FIR,” said a senior police officer, without wishing to be named.

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Qasim’s family said the police version is nothing but a concocted story, which is not even near to the truth. “My brother left home at around 11 am when he got a call from someone in Bajhera who asked him to come over there for buying few animals and he never returned. We got a call from the police at around 2 pm who informed us that he is no more. The police called us and asked us to sign few papers which we did. We don’t know what was written on them. We have not filed any written complaint so far,” deceased Qasim’s younger brother Salim told NewsClick.

Asked about the “road rage” incident, he said his brother did not know how to drive. “He never drove any vehicle; he did not know how to drive. He always used public transport,” added Salim.

The second video of the incident – which surfaced yesterday and has gone viral on Internet – points to the fact that the two Muslim men were assaulted on the allegation of cow slaughter.
In the one-minute video, whose authenticity cannot independently be confirmed by NewsClick, a mob of young men can be seen abusing and hitting Samiuddin and at times pulling his beard. He is purportedly been forced to say he was slaughtering a cow in their field. But the elderly man can be seen repeatedly denying the allegations. The attackers also asked him about the people accompanying him.

Blood spots can be seen on the clothes of the victim, who survived the assault.

Another video that had emerged first on the same day the incident took place showed Qasim lying on the ground with his clothes torn off. In the one-minute video – filed almost at the same time, he can be heard writhing in pain and begging for water, which the mob refuses.

A voice off camera asks the attackers, who are also off-camera, to give some water to him and back off. “You have hit him, assaulted him, enough is enough. Please understand. There are consequences,” says the voice.

However, another voice cuts him off, saying, “If we had not reached within two minutes, then the cow would have been slaughtered.”

Another voice in the video can be heard, saying, “He is a butcher, someone ask him why he was trying to slaughter a calf.”

Qasim later died in hospital. A photo of him being dragged in the presence of policemen has forced the police chief of the state to offer an apology. The Director-General of the UP police admitted on Twitter that the conduct of the men in uniform was “insensitive”. He said their personnel were acting in the heat of the moment trying to get the dying man to the hospital.

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“We apologise for the incident. All the three policemen seen in the picture have been transferred and an enquiry has been ordered. The picture seems to have been taken when the police had reached the spot to shift the injured to a police vehicle & because of the non-availability of an ambulance at that moment, the victim was unfortunately carried this way,” said the DGP Headquarters in a statement adding that “admittedly, the policemen should have been more sensitive in their conduct”.