According to reports, the police initially had not invoked murder charges against the accused. It was done only after family members and relatives of the deceased held protests and blocked the road on Wednesday
Waquar Hasan | Clarion India
NEW DELHI – Four men, including a local Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, were arrested for lynching a 28-year-old Muslim in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri district on Thursday.
Aqeel Ahmed, who was a cab driver, was beaten to death by a group of people following an argument with them at a crowded Vilobi Memorial Fair. Anup Shukla, former district vice-president of the BJP, was arrested along with Devarshi Shukla, Brajesh Shukla and Rajat Rastogi for the crime.
A police official at the Sadar Kotwali Police station told Clarion India on Saturday that they have arrested all the accused after filing a case against them under the charges of murder.
According to the police, Aqeel was beaten to death over a dispute between the two groups of people. On the one side, there were three people while on the other, there were 5-6 people. The police official rejected the apprehension that there could be a threat to the lives of Aqeel’s family members.
“Police personnel are deployed in the area round-the-clock. The accused are in jail. How can there be a threat to their lives,” the official told Clarion India.
According to reports, the police initially had not invoked murder charges against the accused. It was done only after family members and relatives of the deceased held protests and blocked the road on Wednesday.
The family members of Aqeel said that the police arrested the accused after 24 hours on the charges of rioting, unlawful assembly, voluntarily causing hurt (323), intentional insult and causing death by negligence. They were demanding to book them for murder.
Aqeel was beaten up following an argument with Rashtogi. He called his friends after the arguement. Aqeel was also with two of his friends, Chunnan and Sohel Baba Khan. His friends ran away when they attacked Aqeel.
In her complaint filed with Lakhimpur Kheri police superintendent Sanjeev Sumas, Aqeel’s wife Farzana said that the dispute was given communal colour by the accused and called their men.
“The husband (Aqueel) of the applicant (Farzana), his friends Suhel Baba and Chunnan had gone to see the Vilobi Memorial Fair… when Rajat Rastogi tapped on Suhel’s head. This led to an argument between the two in which the husband of the applicant tried to play peacemaker,” Farzana’s complaint was quoted by The Telegraph as saying.
“In the meantime, Rastogi called his friend Devarshi Shukla, son of Ajay Shukla (president of the Senior Advocates’ Council, Uttar Pradesh), and told him that a Hindu-Muslim dispute had arisen… Devarshi Shukla, his uncle Anup Shukla, Brijesh Shukla (Anup’s younger brother) and others reached the Vilobi Memorial Hall and attacked my husband with criminal intentions. The friends of the applicant’s husband managed to escape but he (Aqueel) couldn’t run away and was lynched,” she added in the complaint.
Talking to the reporters, she also said that Anup had announced at the fair that there was dispute between Hindu and Muslim. In her complaint, she also alleged that murder charge was not being added. She also expressed apprehension that there can be danger to their lives and they should be given security.