The sole witness and survivor in the Hapur lynching incident that claimed the life of a 45-year-old man has challenged the police’s version of the incident, while alleging threat to his and his family’s safety ‘for speaking the truth.’
Samayuddin, the 64-year-old farmer from the Muslim-majority Madapur village of Uttar Pradesh’s Hapur, on Saturday alleged that the mob attacked the cattle trader Qasim for alleged cow slaughter, contrary to the fact mentioned in the FIR registered by the police, which claimed the June 18 lynching was triggered by a road accident.
The FIR registered on the day of incident mentioned that Qasim and Samayuddin were beaten up by 20-25 people after they got in an argument with an “unknown” person over a motorcycle accident.
Samayuddin on Saturday said the attack on Qasim played out before his eyes on the fateful day when he and his neighbour, Hasan, had gone to the farm to get fodder and took a break for smoking.
“We saw 25-30 people come running from Bajheda village and started beating Qasim. When I said ‘what’s the matter, why are you beating him up’, they said ‘tu ruk mulle, tujhe bhi dekhte hain’ (You stay right there, you are next),” he told PTI in New Delhi.
A video that went viral after the incident showed a large number of people thrashing and abusing Samayuddin and forcing him to confess to the allegation of cow slaughter.
“They said you slaughter cows, I asked them where is the cow, where is the knife or the axe. They didn’t listen to anything and kept beating me and pulled my beard,” he added.
While initial reports after the incident alleged that it was a case of mob lynching fuelled by a rumour of cow slaughter, the police has maintained its stand that it was a tiff between the villagers over a motorcycle accident.
“Now that I have spoken the truth about what happened that day, I fear for my and my family’s wellbeing. I feel the people in that mob and the police from Pilkhuwa police station will come after me and my family,” he said.
He also alleged that the police never came to take his statement in the hospital or to ask him about the suspects. Although, he remembered that somebody in the ambulance had taken his thumb prints.
“They dragged me and Qasim towards the Devi temple in Bajheda village. I was barely conscious by then. I don’t remember when the police arrived. I only remember that somebody took my thumb prints because it caused a lot of pain. I don’t know on what documents they took my prints,” he said.
Dinesh Tomar, a friend of Samayuddin from neighbouring Hindalpur village, alleged that a police officer threatened him, Samayuddin’s brother Yasin, and Madapur village Pradhan Kamil, to write a “false” report, saying they will be put behind bars otherwise.
“He told us that ‘write the report as I tell you, otherwise you and your family along with Samayuddin will also be put behind bars for cow slaughter,” he claimed.
He alleged the officer threatened them saying, “Remember whose government this is. It’s better if you stay quiet.”
Earlier, after the FIR was registered, the police had arrested two men and picked up some others for questioning.
One of the accused, Yudhishthir Sisodia, was released on bail by the Hapur Sessions Court last week due to “lack of evidence”.
Human rights lawyer Vrinda Grover on Saturday said that since the local police and judiciary had “not done their duty”, they will now take the case to the Supreme Court.
“We are in the process of filing our complaint. It will take us one or two days to do so. We will take it to the highest court to get justice to the victims,” she said.
Meanwhile, Grover said that Samayuddin, his brother and Tomar recorded their statements themselves today and e-mailed them to the IG (Meerut).