“A sacred place like a temple was used to exhort people of one community to attack a hapless family”.

Debunking the notion that the Dadri lynching was an “accident,” the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) says the assembly of a mob that killed Muhammad Akhlaq on September 28 was a “premediated” act of violence.

The NCM is a government-run body with a mandate to safeguard the constitutional rights of the religious minorities.

On October 10, its team visited Bishara village in Dadri district of western Uttar Pradesh to probe the killing.

The report dispels the claim that the assembly of the mob was “spontaneous.” According to the report: “The team feels that a crowd of large numbers appearing within minutes of the announcement from the temple’s loudspeaker and at a time when most villagers claimed they were asleep seems to point to some premeditated planning.”

Since Union Minister Mahesh Sharma concluded that the incident was an “accident,” the report challenges the notion, saying: “A sacred place like a temple was used for exhorting people of one community to attack a hapless family.” Therefore, calling it an accident would be an “under-statement.”

On the night of September 28, the priest of the temple made a loud announcement that the remains of a slaughtered cow were found near Akhlaq’s house. Hearing that, a mob broke into Akhlaq’s house, accusing him of eating and storing cow meat, and killed him instantly.

The NCM team has expressed concern at the growing vigilantism in western Uttar Pradesh. It perceives the ongoing moral policing in the region as a “malaise” which is “spreading fast.” Picking holes in the functioning of the police, the report says intelligence-gathering “is no more occurring in the rule book of the authorities. It has to be revived with utmost sincerity.”