The Haryana Police are investigating the veracity of a video of Rajput Karni Sena chief Kunwar Suraj Pal Amu allegedly making a hate speech in favour of those arrested in connection with the lynching of a Muslim man in the state, NDTV reported on Sunday. The video has been widely shared on social media.
Amu made the comments at a mahapanchayat held at Indri village on May 30 when coronavirus-induced restrictions were in place in the state. Local Bharatiya Janata Party leaders and members of Karni Sena and Bharat Mata Vahini attended the event along with 50,000 people. “We have taken cognisance of this viral video and we will take action,” district Superintendent of Police Narendra Bijarniya told NDTV.
Several villages held mahapanchayats to support the accused in the lynching case and demand their release. The Muslim Raksha Dal filed a complaint against these mahapanchayats. “None of the mahapanchayats held in the district had prior permission of the district administration,” said Bijarniya.
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen President Asaduddin Owaisi on Sunday said that the mahapanchayat amounted to radicalisation. “50k gather in “Hindu Mahapanchayat” to support Asif’s killers,” he tweeted. “Speeches celebrate violence against Muslims & blame Asif for his death. This is radicalisation. Lowly thugs who would be rejected in a decent society enjoy social/political support here.”
Asif Hussain Khan, a resident of Khera Khalilpur village in Nuh district of Haryana, was lynched May 16. The incident happened when Khan, 27, had gone out to Sohna, about 15 km from his home, to buy medicines with his cousin and a friend. His car was surrounded by a mob and they were beaten.
Six people were arrested the next day after Khan’s family filed a first information report and staged a protest while refusing to bury his body. The sections under which the six were arrested include section 148 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 302 (murder), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint), 365 (kidnapping and abducting a person) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 25 of the Arms Act.
Even though the family has alleged that it was hate crime and the incident triggered a bout of religious unrest in the district, the police claim there was no “Hindu-Muslim” angle to it. They claimed the incident was a fallout of a rivalry between two groups.