Bisada villagers continue protests, won’t cremate man accused of Ikhlaq murder

Abhishek Anand, Greater Noida: Residents of Uttar Pradesh’s Bisada village on Friday remained adamant on

their demands for a compensation and a government job for the wife of a 22-year-old man, who died on Tuesday in a hospital while in judicial custody and was accused of lynching a Muslim villager.
Villagers held a panchayat near Ravin Sisodia’s body that has been draped in the tricolour and kept near his residence, saying they will not perform his last rites until their demands are met. His family has alleged that torture inside the jail led to Ravin’s death and also demanded to see his postmortem report.
Ravin is said to have succumbed to respiratory and renal failure at a Delhi hospital.
“We are holding a panchayat to discuss these issues and the final decision on his cremation will be taken after the panchayat,” Hariom Sisodiya, the husband of village pradhan Kaushalya Devi, said.
The administration, however, said the autopsy report cannot be accessed as two judicial probes have been launched.
“Only the judicial magistrate will have the access to the postmortem report,” NP Singh, district magistrate of Gautam Budh Nagar, said.
Ravin was among 19 men arrested last year for allegedly lynching local resident Mohammad Ikhlaq and injuring his son Danish over allegations of slaughtering a cow and storing its meat for consumption on September 28 last year.
The lynching of 55-year-old Ikhlaq had sparked outrage and the BJP-led government at the Centre pilloried by opposition parties that alleged that it failed to rein in fringe groups curbing freedom of personal choice.
Prominent historians, litterateurs, scientists and filmmakers returned government awards as a mark of protest against what they said was “growing intolerance” in India.
In a bid to end the deadlock, the state government on Thursday agreed to a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to Ravin’s family, recommended a CBI probe into his death as well as to the transfer of two jail officials, who Ravin’s family say thrashed him. But the villagers have refused to relent.
“Multiple rounds of meetings have been taken place with a committee of villagers. Additional force is deployed. We are hoping that this ends soon,” the district magistrate said.