After a mob killed a cattle trader in 2018, his brother reluctantly joined hands with a witness to seek justice. Their six-year battle led to a conviction.

Qasim, on the left, who was lynched by a mob in 2018, with his brother Salim in this undated photograph.

By Ayush Tiwari

Six years ago, Salim was reluctant to join the court battle against his elder brother Qasim’s killers.

Qasim, a 45-year-old cattle trader, was beaten to death in June 2018 by a mob in a village in Hapur, Uttar Pradesh, on the suspicion that he had slaughtered a cow. An elderly farmer, Samyadeen, who witnessed the assault and intervened to protect Qasim from the mob, too was assaulted.

When Samaydeen’s family decided to pursue the case against the assailants, they contacted Salim, who lived in a nearby town.

Salim, a 38-year-old daily wage worker, recalled: “We were not sure whether to fight the case with them. We thought ‘who are these people? What are their intentions?’”

Samaydeen understood Salim’s concerns. “He thought since we and the accused were from neighbouring villages, we would settle outside court and he wouldn’t get justice,” said the 68-year-old. “But I told him that I had promised the lawyers that we would not settle. We would fight for justice till the very end.”

This week, a local court convicted 10 men, sentencing them to life imprisonment for killing Qasim.

Salim, who went on to fight the case alongside Samaydeen’s family, said he felt vindicated. “The law has served us justice,” he said. “We fought this case so that there is never a mob lynching again.”

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