Slain cattle trader Mohammad Qasim’s family claims they were unaware of the hearing date and could not hire lawyer.
GHAZANFAR ABBAS | Caravan Daily
HAPUR / NEW DELHI: The family of cattle trader Mohammad Qasim, who was brutally lynched by a mob over cow slaughter rumor in Hapur district of Uttar Pradesh last month, is in shock as the main accused in the case has got bail from a local court.
The order of the Hapur court is “painful” for them, said the family over bail granted to Yudhishthir Sisodia, the main accused in the 18th June lynching case.
Mohammad Saleem, brother of Mohammad Qasim said, “It is very sad. It is painful. We came to know about this very late. We are in fear.” Saleem told that he was unaware of the hearing date when on 4th July Yudhishthir Sisodia got bail. The family said they had not hired a lawyer to fight their case.
Qasim, 45, was sole breadwinner for his family of seven — wife and six children including 2 sons and 4 daughters. Hailed from Hapur’s Madhapur village, Qasim was lynched by a mob in Bajhera Khurd village in the Pilakhua town on 18th June while his co-villager 65-year-old Mohammad Samiuddin sustained serious injuries in the assault. Qasim was beaten to death following rumors about stealing of cows for slaughter.
The Hapur police had registered a case under IPC sections 302 (murder) and 307 (Attempt to murder) against Yudhishthir Sisodia and Rakesh Sisodia besides some other unknown persons. But later, the victim family’s lawyer claims, the local police diluted the case resulting in the bail for the accused.
Police Diluted Case: Victim Family’s Counsel
Talking to Caravan Daily over phone, Adv. Shahid Husain, victim family’s counsel, said that the bail was granted by the court due to ‘dilution’ of the case by the police. He said that the police had invoked section 302 of IPC (for murder) in the FIR but later presented the incident as a road rage case rather than mob lynching.
“In the cases filed under section 302, generally bail is not granted so easily. Court has granted the bail on the ground of road rage case registered by the police observing that it was not motivated and pre planned. While in the matters of lynching Supreme Court had recently said that pre-planning or motive or whatever the reason behind don’t matter in the case of lynching,” Adv. Husain argued.
“On 5th July, the same court had rejected bail appeal in a case filed under section 307,” he further told.
Adv. Husain said that the family of Qasim was not intimated that any bail application was filed by the main accused. In such situation, police often inform the other party in the case, he said.
Meanwhile, Rakesh Sisodia, second named accused in the Hapur lynching case, has also filed bail application and the hearing is scheduled for 12th July.
Following hue and cry over the bail to the first accused, the local police has hinted to move the court seeking cancellation of his bail, informed Adv. Shahid. “If police do not move for cancellation of the bail, we will file a separate appeal,” he said.
Lynching Video Deflates ‘Road Rage’ Story
A video of the Hapur lynching reached social media four days after the incident confirmed the charges of the victim families that Qasim and Samiudidn were assaulted over cow slaughter allegations. The local police had earlier said it was a case of road rage.
In the one-minute video, elderly Samiuddin is seen being slapped by a mob. Members of the mob, mostly teenagers, are hurling filthy abuses at him and asking him to admit he and others were taking cows for slaughter. At times, some of the assaulters are pulling his beard. Blood is spilling out from several parts of his body. The mob is assaulting him and asking him to name other three who were with him. With abuses, the mob asks him if they were taking cows for slaughter, he denies and before he says further, he is again slapped on the face and hit in the stomach.
Human Rights Activists Had Demanded Transfer of Case From Hapur
Last month, victim’s family had also addressed the national media in New Delhi. Advocate Colin Gonsalves, senior lawyer at Supreme Court, had demanded transfer of the case from Hapur, in view of the decision of the Hapur bar association to oppose the case filed against the lynching accused.
Highlighting the gravity of the case, Adv Gonsalves said, “The criminal case must be transferred from Hapur to a session judge in Delhi because Hapur’s bar association is opposing the case. There are adequate proofs for the conviction of the culprits in this case.”
He also criticized the Uttar Pradesh police for declaring the lynching as a case of road rage. “We don’t believe in UP police and so we demand a probe by an independent investigation agency,” Gonsalves had demanded.