Dadri lynching: IAF mulls moving victim's kin to its area; two main accused arrested
New Delhi: Terming as "unfortunate" the lynching of a serving air warrior's father over rumours of eating beef, Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha said they are looking at the possibility of moving the family to an Air Force area.
Asserting that such acts cannot be accepted, Raha said senior officers were in touch with Corporal Mohammad Sartaj and his family.
"Unfortunate incident or accident I would say. It is unfortunate that a serving Air Force personnel's family has been affected resulting in death in the family. We are already in touch (with the family)," he said on Saturday while replying to questions at his annual news conference ahead of Air Force Day.
"Whatever protection is required, we are giving it to him. We are trying to move (them) to some Air Force area. We are with him and our people are there to assist the family," he said.
IAF sources said Sartaj is currently posted in Chennai and efforts are on to either enable the rest of the family to move there or transfer him to an area where his family can be.
Sartaj's father Aqlakh was beaten to death and his 22-year-old brother Danish was critically injured by a 200-strong mob which barged into their house on Monday night following rumours that the family had consumed cow meat.
Raha said he is trying to meet Sartaj himself to take care of his and the family's welfare.
Asked if he would be writing to the government in this regard, Raha said, "Writing to the state government or central government, I think is superfluous because everybody has understood in the government that such things cannot be accepted. Adequate actions are being taken at the government level, both central as well as in the state," he said.
He said whenever there is a security problem concerning any armed forces personnel, the force gets in touch with local authorities.
"We write to them, we interact with them. Our local Air Force police interacts with them to provide protection to any armed forces personnel," he said.
Two main accused arrested
The Uttar Pradesh police on Saturday arrested two main accused — Shivam and Vishal — in connection with the Dadri lynching case. The total number of accused arrested in Dadri lynching has gone up to 10.
On Monday night, following rumours of cow slaughter, 50-year-old Mohammad Ikhlaq was killed by a mob in Greater Noida's Bisada village just outside his house. As tension gripped the village and spread to nearby areas, another mob went on the rampage on Tuesday morning in Ooncha Amirpur — barely 5km from Bisada — demanding death penalty for those involved in cow slaughter.
Iqlakh's family had alleged that Vishal forced the local temple priest to announce that cow was slaughtered and stored in their house.
Earlier, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and some local Congress leaders were stopped from entering Bishada village to meet family Iqlakh by the villagers.
Police said the situation in the village had turned tense as women in the village had objected to presence of media and some people pelted stones at them.
In view of the protests, entry to visitors was stopped and the administration was trying to pacify the agitated villagers, police said.
"Once the situation becomes normal, visitors will be allowed entry," they said.
Peeved at being stopped outside the village, Kejriwal, who was accompanied by some party leaders, questioned whey he was stopped from meeting the family when leaders like Asaduddin Owaisi and Mahesh Sharma were allowed.
"We r stopped by police n admn. Mahesh Sharma n Owaisi not stopped yest. Then y me? I am most peace loving. Want 2 jst meet Ikhlaq's family (sic)," the Delhi CM tweeted.
AAP leaders claimed that police and administration officials stopped them and not villagers. Administration officials later took Kejriwal to NTPC guest house. A state Congress delegation led by Siraj Mehandi was also not allowed entry to Bishada village on .
The district administration said they have sealed the village as victim's son has appealed that they want peace in their hour of grief.
District magistrate NP Singh had said on Friday that the victim's son Sartaj had given a written request that the family does not want to meet anyone as continuous stream of visitors were causing harassment to them.