Campaigning for the BJP and celebrating the party’s victory in the Uttar Pradesh election has cost Babar, a Muslim political activist, his life. Seeing him burst crackers and distribute sweets to celebrate the formation of the second Yogi Adityanath government, certain members of the Muslim community were so incensed that they beat him brutally to death.
The relatives of the deceased Muslim activist say Babar had received death threats earlier and the family had complained at the local police station, but the cops did not take any action. “Due to the police inaction, the bullies felt encouraged. My husband finally had to pay the price with his life,” Babar’s distraught wife told reporters.
According to the relatives of the deceased, Babar had campaigned for the BJP for the assembly election. Their Muslim neighbours found it unacceptable. They would repeatedly forbid Babur from campaigning for the BJP and threatened to kill him if he did not obey, the relatives told reporters.
A complaint was lodged at the Ramkola police station. But amid police inaction, a gang of Muslim goons attacked Babar who was returning from the shop on that evening of 20 March.
The relatives said that the assailants left Babar grievously injured. He still rushed to the roof of a building, fleeing the goons, but the hoodlums followed him to the top of the house and flung him from there to the ground.
Relatives rushed an injured Babar to the nearest CSC Ramkola health centre where the doctor, seeing his serious condition, referred him to Lucknow. But during the treatment, Babur succumbed to his injuries.
On getting information about the lynching, BJP MLA Panchanand Pathak and the local administrative officer reached the spot to meet the relatives. The MLA assured the grieving family that the administration would take strict action against the suspects. The family agreed to perform the last rites of the body after the assurance.
The MLA, who attended the Muslim funeral, called the incident “very shameful”. “The guilty will not be spared at any cost,” Pathak said.
Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath expressed deep condolences on the death of Babar and consoled his family members, ordering an inquiry into the lynching thereafter. Yogi has issued strict instructions to the police for a fair probe and warned against laxity in police action.
The chief minister has directed the SP of Kushinagar for an immediate and fair investigation of the case while asking top officials of the state government and the police department to monitor the probe.