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Dadri(UP): When doctors treating 22-year-old Danish Saifi on Thursday morning told his elder brother Sartaj that his sibling had shown signs of improvement, it was not only the fresh memory of his father’s killing that stopped him to rejoice the good news. An engineer in the Indian Air Force, Sartaj told dna how the thought of that ‘one phone call’, made by his younger sister Shaista on the night his family was attacked, continues to haunt.
Victims son Sartaj joined Indian Air Force in 2007
Saifi, passed the entrance examination to join the Indian Air Force as a technician right after he completed his higher secondary education in 2007. During his first posting in Hyderabad, he decided to pursue part-time graduation in Geography from Osmania University and soon after completing the degree, he was posted in Chennai where he now is pursuing a post-graduation.
While speaking to dna, Saifi said that his village had never seen a Hindu-Muslim riot and it was hard to believe that the communities would ever fight. But Saifi did admit that he had become concerned after the Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013 which he says had made him bit wary of the situation back home. “It is hard to accept that my father was killed because people thought he had meat. How does one get away from this fact,” Saifi remarked.
Saifi was in was in Chennai when he had received the call that would change his life forever. Rumours of his family eating cow meat had surfaced and an announcement was made in a temple to gather outside his home in Dadri’s Bisara village.
“It was around 10.45 pm and I was about to got to sleep when my sister called me. She was crying on the phone and told me that my father has been dragged away by a mob of around 100 people.
“I called up my commanding officer and he assured me that he will do whatever he can to get my family to safety. In the meantime I started checking internet to find phone numbers of nearby hospitals so that they could send an ambulance. I found many numbers but every hospital told me that they can’t help. I told them that my father and brother were injured but they kept on saying that they had no ambulances,” said Saifi.
“It was a horrible night, I can’t even imagine how my family must be feeling. My wife and two-year-old daughter were scared seeing me panicking and asking for help,” Saifi added. What Saifi did not know at that moment was that his father had already been beaten to death by a mob using stones, hockey sticks and batons.
“I called up my sister few minutes later and told her to call the police immediately. By the time police had arrived, they had killed my father and my brother was left there to die,”said Sartaj.
Now at Kailash Hospital in Noida’s sector 27 where he waits for his brother to recover, Saifi, does not even want to think of the hard choices he will have to make over the next few months. But he has made up his mind. “We will leave the village. I can’t be at peace with my family living in fear. My grandmother, my sisters, brother and my mother, they are all my responsibility. We will leave our home,” he said.
Fear of communal riots
Saifi said that his village had never seen a Hindu-Muslim riot and it was hard to believe that the communities would ever fight.
Heptulla condemns lynching
Union minority affairs minister Najma Heptulla on Thursday condemned the Dadri lynching in Uttar Pradesh and said that the Centre’s aim was to instill ‘confidence in the minorities’ and empower them. “It is indeed a very condemnable incident. The (Union) Home Ministry has now taken up the matter and sought a report from the UP government. Let the inquiry be over..,” she said. Heptulla said that the Modi government’s aim has been to instill ‘confidence in the minorities’ and empower them.
“Time and again (Narendra) Modiji has said that people are free to practise their religion in the country. And me and my department will look towards instilling that confidence in the people,” Heptulla said.
A 50-year-old man was allegedly lynched by a mob following rumours that his family was involved in the slaughter of a cow in Dadri area of Gautam Buddha Nagar district on September 30.
It’s become ‘fashion’ for some people to abuse Hindus : VHP
Amid mounting criticism of right wing outfits over Dadri lynching incident, VHP on Thursday hit back and said it has become ‘fashion’ for ‘some people’ to abuse Hindus or else they contract ‘diarrhoea’.
“Several people have levelled allegations against Hindus and those working for awakening of Hindus. My view is clear, some people contract diarrhoea if they don’t abuse Hindus. “Their diarrhoea gets treated when they abuse Hindus. I don’t object to such people. But it is fashionable for them to abuse (Hindus). There is no substance in it,” VHP general secretary Champat Rai said. Rai made the statement on the sidelines of an event where a book on senior VHP leader Ashok Singhal’s life was released. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh were also present at the event.