HYDERABAD: Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi said India could soon turn into a “banana republic”, a day after the lynching of Mohammed Ikhlaq and his son in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, over rumours of eating beef.
Owaisi on Thursday severely criticised the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) for its inaction and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s local leadership for “justifying” the killing. “It is sad that the SP government is silent and looking the other way. They have announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh. The question is not about compensation, it is about the mob that gathered there. What are they doing about the mindset and mentality of such people?” the MP from Hyderabad asked.
Owaisi, whose party MIM is contesting about two dozen panchayat seats in UP, criticised the cops in charge of the investigation for sending the meat obtained from the victim’s house to forensics to ascertain whether it was indeed beef. “What is unfortunate is that they are testing the meat. They should get their brains tested,” he said. He added that the local BJP leadership was justifying Ikhaq’s killing.
Owaisi tore into Union minister for culture Mahesh Sharma for his “nonchalance” with regards to the lynching. “The cultural minister is the parliamentarian of the constituency in which the incident took place. He says that it is misunderstanding and says that with nonchalance. How can he? This is not a misunderstanding, but a deliberate attempt. What kind of message is being sent? What are they doing to the country?” Owaisi questioned.
He deplored the way an announcement was reportedly made at a temple that Ikhalq’s family had beef in their possession. “Assuming that even if somebody has beef in her/his possession, which has not yet been proved, will a mob take the life of a person just because it is announced from a temple? If that’s the case, why do we have law, courts and police?” he said.
Meanwhile, responding to questions on the conviction of five persons in the 2006 Mumbai trains blast case, Owaisi said there was fresh evidence which was not accessible to the defence. “When so much new evidence has surfaced and these were not accessible to the defence counsel – then there was a miscarriage of justice,” Owaisi said, adding that there were two chargesheets filed in the case, one by the then crime branch head Rakesh Maria and another by then anti-terrorism squad head K P Raghuvanshi. While Maria’s chargesheet recorded that the Indian Mujahideen as responsible for the blasts, Raghuvanshi’s charge-sheet held the convicted persons as responsible, the MIM leader added.