Tension prevails at Bishara in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, as villagers remain in protest after the death of Ravi Sisodia, one of the accused in the Dadri case, in police custody.
Ravi, one among the villagers arrested for allegedly lynching Mohammed Akhlaq last year over rumours of consumption and possession of beef, died on Tuesday in LNGP Hospital in Delhi.
Ravi’s family and villagers alleged he was murdered by police, while government officials denied such claims citing kidney and respiratory failure as the cause of death. Ravi is survived by his wife and one year old daughter.
Refusing to cremate the body, which was covered by a national flag, villagers are now staging sit-in protest near Ravi’s house. In addition to compensation, protesters demanded the arrest of Jan Mohammad, young brother of Akhlaq, for alleged cow slaughter.
Current village Pradhan of Bishara, Hariyan Rana said: “We are here to seek justice for his death. We demand a compensation of Rs. 1 crore, government job for his wife, immediate release of other accused from jail and the arrest of Jan Mohammad.”
Earlier today, VHP leader Sadhvi Prachi addressed the protesters, delivering highly offensive statements. Later, leaders representing different outfits in the region followed her in the same mode, further fuelling the tension.
“Leaders from organisations like Hindu Raksha Dal and Goraksha Dal are addressing villagers here. Sadhvi Prachi met us here today morning, while Sangeet Singh Som is expected to arrive today,” said Abhishek Sidodia, a youngster present during the protest.
Few Muslim neighbours in the village were reportedly planning to leave their houses after the news came in. However, they were asked to stay back by villagers, offering complete protection, a neighbour of Ravi said.
According to officials, Ravi complained of respiratory problems and fever on Monday and was admitted to the Noida district hospital. Later on Tuesday morning, he was moved the LNJP Hospital, where he died in the evening.
District Magistrate NP Singh has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the death and the National Human Rights Commission has reportedly issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh police over the issue.
Meanwhile, a trial court in Greater Noida had rejected an application of the rest of the 14 accused to attend Ravi’s funeral.
In October last year, 52-year-old Akhlaq was dragged out of his house and killed by a mob for allegedly possessing beef. Later, Police arrested 18 people, all villagers of Bishara, accusing their involvement in the killing. Three minor accused are out on bail now.