An attempted cover-up and negligence by the Uttar Pradesh police, threats and pressure to withdraw the case, and court proceedings that moved at a glacial place were some of the things that the 62-year-old lynching survivor battled in his nearly six-long fight for justice. It ended with an exemplary sentence of life imprisonment for the 10 men found guilty of attacking him and killing a Muslim goat trader on 18 June 2018 over false rumours of cow slaughter. Despite the victory, it is the Muslim families who still worry for their safety and security.

Samaydeen at his house in Madapur-Mustafabad village in Hapur/ OMAR RASHID

By Omar Rashid

Hapur/Delhi: A faint imprint of the words “Allah” and “786”—a number linked to Islam—was noticeable above the wooden front door of the white-plastered pucca house of a 62-year-old farmer, Samayadeen, in a corner of Madapur-Mustafabad village in western Uttar Pradesh (UP). 

The compound inside had plenty of sunlight and was airy, big enough to spread two large cots and store piles of cow dung cakes. A buffalo was tied inside a shed facing the inner courtyard. 

A police guard’s round-the-clock presence was a constant reminder of the security threat Samaydeen faced. He was the survivor and injured eyewitness in a 2018 lynching in which a 45-year-old goat trader, Qasim, was murdered by a Hindu mob in daylight over fabricated rumours of cow slaughter. 

Even in the calm setting, where farmers like him grew wheat, sugarcane and mustard, and children played with handpumps, Samaydeen’s face reflected nervousness. His white kurta pyjama, white flowing beard and white netted skullcap distinguished him from the lush green field behind him—the same fields where he was nearly killed by a violent mob in 2018.

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