By Special Correspondent
New Delhi: Taking strong cognizance of the Haryana police action of freeing four accused in the brutal killing of Asif Khan, CPI (M) Polit Bureau Member and former MP Brinda Karat wrote a letter to the Haryana Chief Minister Mnahor Lal Khattar. She asked how and why the “Hindu mahapanchayat” was allowed in the first instance as Police imposed sec 144 there.
She urged him to take appropriate action in the case who the led CPI (M) delegation to meet the family of Asif Khan in Nuh and assured all help to the family. The delegation also met the District magistrate Shakti Singh and gave him a memorandum.
Expressing grave concern over the brutal killing of Asif and the Haryana police’s action, Karat asked the CM Khattar to arrest all the accused, the organizers of the so-called Hindu mahapanchayat and those who made communal hate speeches.
She also raised the teenager Hafiz Junaid’s mob lynching case as a court granted bail to Naresh the main accused in the case. She asked the state government to move the court for cancellation of bail of Junaid case accused.
Full text of the letter
Dear Shri Khattar ji,
I am writing to you following my visit on June 9 as part of a delegation of the CPI(M) and CPI to village Khera Khalilpur, in Nuh. We went to meet the family of a young man Asif who was brutally killed on May 16. We also.
Members of the delegation were: Amarjit Kaur (CPI, Central Secretariat member and AITUC General Secretary), Surinder Singh (Secretary, CPIM Haryana), Dariyav Singh Kashyap (Secretary, CPI Haryana) Savita, Usha Saroha, Major S.I.Prajapati, Vinod Bharadwaj, Sarafuddin Mewati, Jafar, Arshad Khan among others.
I draw your attention to the following :
●The brutal murder of Asif was by criminal elements in the village and their cohorts mobilized by them from outside. We were told that since Asif, who reportedly helped people of all communities in the village, opposed their criminal activities, he was targeted by them. Apparently even before the murder, there are several cases pending in the thana against some of these criminals and their violent activities. Along with Asif, his cousin Rashid was also brutally attacked and left for dead. He is the main eye witness and was able to identify several of the attackers.
●In the first instance the police had acted and arrested some of those identified. 12 men were arrested. This gave confidence to the family.
●However, on May 30 the situation changed. That day in violation of Sec 144 which had been imposed from a month earlier because of the Covid pandemic, a so- called “Hindu mahapanchayat” was held in village Indri, organised reportedly by the Karni Sena led by its President Suraj Pal Ammu. It was attended by several thousand people. The slogan on the social media poster for the event was “First save religion- castes will automatically be saved” showing clearly the attempt to give a communal twist to the crime committed. It was a meeting in which speaker after speaker made highly provocative communal hate speeches inciting violence against the minority community, justifying the murder and demanding release of the accused. It’s aim was to mobilise people on communal lines to save the accused, to communalise the incident, to spread communal tension, to divide people —all crimes under law.
●One of the speakers was Naresh Kumar the main accused in the Junaid murder and lynching case. He is out on bail in that case and went on stage to make a toxic speech. Local leaders of the ruling party were also present in the mahapanchayat.
●Instead of taking note of the communal content and intent of the mahapanchayat the local BJP MLA has justified it as a right of people to raise their demands. Naturally when an elected representative refuses to condemn such a gathering, it causes insecurity among the minority community.
●Within a few days of this mahapanchayat, four of the men arrested were released. Clearly this was done as a direct result of the pressure and demand of the “mahapanchayat”.
The question is how and why was the mahapanchayat allowed in the first place in violation of Sec 144? Second, why is there not a single arrest of those who made hate speeches? Third, why has the police not moved immediately to cancel the bail of the murder accused Naresh Kumar and file a fresh case against him? Fourth, why were the four accused discharged by the police in spite of the identification directly by the eye witness? Fifth, when more than two dozen men were involved in the murder why have they not been arrested?
I hope you will take the necessary and appropriate action on the above issues— namely arrest all the accused, arrest the organizers of the so-called Hindu mahapanchayat and those who made communal hate speeches, move the court for cancellation of bail of Junaid case accused Naresh.
Asif was just 28 years old. He leaves behind his wife and three small children, the youngest a baby of just a few months. This is also to request you to extend compensation and financial assistance to the family.
(Polit Bureau member, CPI (M)
Former Rajya Sabha member)