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No Holi celebrations in Akhlaq’s Village Dadri

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Greater Noida: Once again, tension hangs over Bisada like a thick blanket.Some residents of the tiny village in Dadri, which had hit headlines last September after a Muslim man was lynched on the suspicion of consuming beef, met on .

The mahapanchayat is to debate the state government’s alleged partisan position in the aftermath of the lynching of Mohammed Akhlaq.
The 1pm meeting, attended by hundreds of residents, was held in the compound of the temple whose loudspeaker was used to incite the mob that lynched Akhlaq. At the end of the meet, the conveners declared they will not celebrate Holi on Thursday. Attendees mourned “the lack of justice” and spread out in gendered groups to garner support from villagers. Not a single cop was visible in and around the village.

Protesters alleged the state government was facilitating “one community” while ignoring their demands. “The state government, police and administration have all ditched us. This after we extended our full support in the probe and handed over our [accused] children to the police. The police and administration had promised an unbiased probe, but we now feel the government is facilitating one community,” said BJP’s Sanjay Rana, whose son Vishal is key accused in the lynching.

“We’re asking our community for help. We’ve formed two committees. After Holi, we’ll distribute pamphlets describing police misdeeds. One committee of the elderly will visit all Saatha Chaurasi villages to gather support for a mahapanchayat. Another group of youths will energise people in the villages surrounding Bisada,” he added.

“After Akhlaq’s lynching, we provided police tea and food while they were stationed here. But the government and administration have abandoned us since,” said Om Mahesh, father of another suspect.

“Money and flats were given to those who are already financially sound. Nobody is paying heed to our demands. We’ve lost faith in the judicial system. Media has also portrayed us negatively,” he added, clearly, indicating his displeasure at the compensation given to Akhlaq’s family by the state.

Many accused the government of trying to hide the forensics report of meat samples collected from Akhlaq’s house. Rana claimed the state government was hiding the report, insinuating the meat was beef. “I’d filed an RTI in the Mathura lab for the report. They refused to share details, saying the matter is sub-judice,” he said.

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