By Mohammad Shakir Hussain Qasmi
Several versions have been circulating of the news relating to the killing by Aslam of three people who had tried to mob-lynch him. Here we are producing what Aslam’s father has narrated to us.
Aslam, a 23-year-old motor mechanic and eldest of two sons, is a resident of Mangavali, District Ashok Nagar, Madhya Pradesh.
One day before Baqra Eid he went, along with essentials, to his maternal aunt’s house to celebrate Eid and perform the animal sacrifice there. [After prayers and the sacrifice and] Before returning to his home Aslam also went to the nearby Rajghat Dam for an outing along with his cousin sisters and some other children. Here they met some boys who passed inappropriate remarks about the girls that led to an argument between those boys and Aslam. [In order to avoid more trouble] Aslam took the girls and the children back to his aunt’s house. As he sought aunt’s leave to return to his home, she asked him to have food before leaving. As he was having his lunch, the four boys, with whom he had had the encounter earlier at the Dam, arrived there and started shouting abuses at the family. At this, Aslam’s aunt intervened and tried to settle the matter. She then asked Aslam to leave immediately saying that the boys were unsocial elements.
Aslam immediately left the house and waited for a bus at the bypass road. Unable to get a bus, he took the Magic (big auto). However, as the auto neared the neighbouring village, the four boys reappeared there on their motorbikes and made the auto stop and without saying a word they attacked Aslam. Aslam pleaded for their forgiveness but they were not willing to spare him. This scenario fitted the pattern of incidents being often reported these days in the country in which an innocent loner is attacked and ignoring his pleas for mercy a violent crowd lynches him to death.
Realising that the attackers were determined to kill him, he took out the equipments he had brought with him to perform animal sacrifice and in defence attacked the intended lynchers. This changed the whole scene. One of the boys who attacked Aslam first, fell on the ground and started writhing. One of the others ran for his life while three of them sustained deep injuries. Two of them died at the scene and the third died in hospital.
Following the news of the incident a crowed assembled there and surrounded Aslam Some of the crowd suggested and many of them claimed that he be killed as well. At this Aslam shouted that if anyone dared touch him he would lay him dead on the ground. Hearing Aslam’s warning no one in the crowd dared come near him and showed up the courage to come close to him. Upon realising that they, on their own could not handle Aslam, someone in the crowd dialled 100 and informed the police. The police arrested Aslam and in order to trap Aslam the crowd made up a new story and filed an FIR on the basis of that. They said that Aslam had old animosity towards the attackers because of which he had killed them. However, Aslam’s father says that Aslam did not even know anyone of them.
Shakir Qasmi, an Islamic scholar by training, is a social activist and member of the executive committee of Companion for Peace & Justice