Mathura: Muslim mob lynched shopkeeper to death over 'lassi'
In a stern message last year, the Supreme Court said India can't become the land of mob lynchings. Despite, SC's order and assurance from the government, nothing seems to have changed on the ground as last month, one Hindu shopkeeper was lynched in Mathura. If the incident wasn't unfortunate enough, the stoic silence makes it sadder. When did we become so cold?
Two brothers, who ran a lassi shop, were attacked
The incident happened on May 18 and an investigation by Swarajya brought concerning details to attention. On the fateful day, two brothers Pankaj Yadav (20) and Bharat Yadav (26) opened their shop Nattho Yadav Lassiwale, located in the congested Chowk Bazaar. The shop is decades old and is run by three members of the family, Munna being the third and eldest one.
A group came to get lassi, fought with brothers
According to Pankaj, at around 8:30 PM a group of 8-10 men accompanied by two women came to the shop. Since there was a usual rush, Pankaj asked the group to wait. The group then started taunting the brothers and asked if they had mehendi on their hands. Finally, the brothers gave them lassi and the group got into a spat over the payment.
Eyewitness said a woman threatened to teach brothers a lesson
An eyewitness, who owns a kachori shop next to the brothers, said one of the women claimed they had five glasses of lassi. But the brothers insisted they served nine. The burqa-clad woman then accused the brothers of being high on bhaang, and latter accused her of being drunk. The woman left furiously but not before threatening to teach the brothers "a lesson"
"Mob dragged Bharat, beat him mercilessly"
"God knows what all she told the men in her area upon her return. A mob soon arrived and beat Bharat mercilessly. They dragged him out of the shop and beat him up in the street," said Ram Singh, who runs the kachori shop.
The mob also looted money from cash counter
According to Pankaj's complaint, the mob also stole Rs. 15,000- Rs. 20,000 from the cash counter. Pankaj claimed two brothers Haneef and Shahrukh were responsible for the loot. He said he would recognize the other men if they are produced before him. After filing the FIR, the brothers went to a local hospital. Though they were discharged, Bharat wasn't completely fine.
Days after attack, Bharat succumbed to injuries
In the days following the incident, Bharat complained of headache and weakness. As his condition deteriorated he was taken to a hospital in Agra. He died later. The autopsy report said Bharat died due to head injuries that damaged his nerve. He is survived by his wife and a minor daughter. The mob, which reportedly shouted 'kaafir kaafir', destroyed a family.
Another eyewitness said the mob flaunted its 'fearlessness'
Some locals also claimed that the woman, who instigated the spat, told the mob that the brothers molested her. But Pankaj said this wasn't the case. The brothers folded their hands and asked the group to leave but in vain. They kept flaunting how the woman would get bail easily. According to an eyewitness, the mob said, "[We] weren't scared of Yogi-Modi."
Shopkeepers staged protest, slammed police for inaction
On May 26, a day after Bharat died, the market went somber. Shopkeepers staged a protest and accused laxity on police's part. They said police officials posted on 24-hour duty were nowhere to be seen on day of incident. They also alleged officers released two men, named in FIR, hours after arrest. Facing ire, police promised that action would be taken against the culprits.
Police arrested seven men, locals called it "fake"
Till June 2, police had arrested seven people but traders called the arrests "fake". They claimed wrong men were put behind bars. "It was a dispute between two groups. Only those who were involved should be arrested," said local Mansoor Ali. Meanwhile, Pappu said his family wants justice and not compensation. Mathura BJP MLA Shrikant Sharma met the family and assured action.