By Zafar Aafaq
A 28 year old Muslim was allegedly tortured to death by a gang of goons from Gujjar community in a village in Mewat region of Haryana on Sunday. The family of the victim termed it a case of mob lynching and hate crime.
Aasif Khan, a gym trainer in Khalilpur village was kidnapped by the gang and then brutally beaten to death, his family said. He is survived by his wife and three kids.
The Mewat Police have set up an SIT to probe the murder and arrested six people in conncection with the case of murder of Asif . Speaking to Clarion India, Superintendent of Police Narendra Bijarniya said: “We have arrested six accused and have set up an SIT (Special investigations Team) and we will round up more people. They have been booked under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code.”
According to Mohammad Isha, Asif’s brother-in-law, he and his two cousins, Rahsid, 31, and Wasif, 22, were returning in a Santro car after visiting a health practitioner in Sohna when a gang of at least 20 men chased them in two vehicles.
“They hit our car from behind and another vehicle in the meantime waylaid us,” recalled Rashid in a video recorded by the family. His face was covered with bruises he received in the assault. “They then attacked and beat me until I fell unconscious,” The men then pulled Asif from the vehicle and took him along with them to Nagli, a village where Gujjar are in majority.
Isha said that the gang brutally tortured Asif in captivity: “They had thrashed his feet and legs; they had hit his chest with a hammer and bashed his head,” Isha recalled.
On Monday around 100 men from Muslim community had went to the police station in Nuh to seek arrest of the accused but, Isha said they were in return lathicharged and detained 15 to 20 of them in lockup.
“Our only demand is that we want justice and nothing else,” said Mohsim, Aasif’s brother. “We have lost a brother but Police is being harsh on us for no reason. We want strict action against all those who murdered my brother. ”
According to Mohsim, the main culprits behind the conspiracy of Aasif’s murder are still free and he demanded that police should arrest them too.
SP Bijarniya, however, said it was “not a protest”. “They pelted stones on police and private vehicles and that is why action has been taken against them.”
Rashid knows most of the attackers. He said most of them belong to Khalilpur. Some of them were outsiders as well. He named some of the attackers— Sandeep and Kaloo, Advnai, Patwari, Rishi, Kuldeep, Sonu, Bhim Mahinder and Anoo — who were part of the murderous mob.
The family alleges that the attack is a case of hate crime. Isa said that men from the Gujjar community did not like the fact that Asif was running a gym and did not accept their hegemony. “They were jealous of him,” said Isha. “The Gujjar do not like it if someone from another community raises voice louder than them. Asif did not accept it. He believed that everyone was equal in the village. He would often tell them why they were harassing members of other communities such as Chamar (a slur for a lower caste community) Faqeer and Miyaan. They could not digest that Asif, a Muslim, was confronting them. They had threatened him with consequences.”
Isha vouched for Asif’s honesty and clean record. “You can ask anyone in the area how a nice human being he was and those people who murdered him are known thugs. They have police cases registered against them.”
This story first appeared on clarionindia.net