Communal tension looms large in Haryana’s Nuh district following the brutal killing of 27-year-old Asif Khan, who was allegedly abducted, and then beaten to death on Sunday evening. Haryana police told the media that Asif was “attacked by some people from his own village and that they had a long-running tiff”, as reported by NDTV. However the tension in Nuh continues to simmer days after the gym instructor’s body was found. It is reported that he had been missing for a few hours. According to reports, local police launched a “baton charge” and fired in the air to disperse angry mobs who took to the streets in protest. Asif’s funeral was on Monday, and it is alleged that some who attended pelted stones at the police.
The victim Asif Khan, a resident of Kheda Khalilpur in Nuh, was allegedly abducted on Sunday while he was out with two cousins to buy medicines. According to NDTV, the three were “first waylaid by a dozen people and beaten up”. It is alleged that Asif “was then taken away, leaving his battered cousins behind at the scene of abduction.” According to the complaint lodged with the police the attackers “shot Hussain and also used other weapons on him”. His body was found a few hours later. The other two cousins, identified as Rashid (31) and Wasif (22), survived the attack but Rashid remains in critical care, reported Maktoob Media.
The Tribune reported that Asif was “taken to the outskirts of Sohna and allegedly killed”. His family claims that the men made Asif say ‘Jai Shree Ram’, and abused him with communal slurs. This allegdation indicates “mob lynching” and the pattern has been observed in cases of communal mob lynching accross India.
According to Maktoob media, Asif’s uncle Hasan Khan said, “A group of 15 stopped the car and started abusing the passengers. They shouted “maar mulle ko” — Kill Muslims— and lynched Khan”. The Haryana police have filed an FIR against the perpetrators under IPC 302.
Asaduddin Owaisi, reacted sharply to the killing and tweeted, “Extremist Hindutvadis have run amok. @mlkhattar your rule has emboldened such uncivilised brutes as they know they won’t face consequences” The hashtag #JusticeForAsif has been trending since the news first broke.
However, according to Nuh Superintendent of Police Narendra Singh there was no “Hindu-Muslim angle” to the incident. Singh told the media that there was a long standing “tiff” between two groups, “which was often resolved by senior members of the village till then”.
The Tribune quotes Nuh’s Superintendent Narender Bijarnia, who said, the victim’s family “has not even once mentioned anything about chanting in its complaint, nor have they told police about it. The two groups fought in the past and have filed police complaints against each other.” The key accused, the police said., belong to Asif’s village, Kheda Khalilpur. Some arrests have also been made. Singh told the media: “both the groups face cases under sections of the Arms Act and for assault. Six accused have been arrested. An SIT has been constituted which is probing the case.” Police also arrested 10 persons for allegedly pelted stones at the police during the funeral. Singh appealed to the protesters to “be patient, saying the police were with the victim’s family. All efforts will be made to conduct the trial in a fast-track court.”
In the aftermath of the killing, angry mobs reportedly blocked the Kundali – Manesar – Palwal Expressway late on Sunday night, and police launched a baton charge, and also fire in the air disperse them at another spot, stated NDTV.