Ikhlaq’s elder son, Sartaj, who works with Indian Air Force (IAF) and lives in Delhi, said that he had twice gone to visit his relatives in Nai Basti area of Dadri but he returned to Delhi without visiting Bisada.(Virendra Singh Gosain/HT PHOTO)
Updated: Sep 28, 2017 14:52 IST
Two years after the lynching of 55-year-old Mohammad Ikhlaq in Bisada village of Dadri over alleged cow slaughtering and storing beef for consumption, his family feels nostalgic about their native place but said that the fear of the incident does not let them visit their house even after these years.
Since the incident that took place on the night of September 28, 2015, the family members, including Ikhlaq’s wife, two sons and daughter have not revisited their house in Bisada. In the absence of maintenance, the blue paint on the house’s walls had chipped and cracked, while the locks on the door remain sealed.
Ikhlaq’s elder son, Sartaj, who works with Indian Air Force (IAF) and lives in Delhi, said that he had twice gone to visit his relatives in Nai Basti area of Dadri but he returned to Delhi without visiting Bisada. “On two different occasions, I went to Dadri, which was also possible only because my relatives were accompanying me. My father’s murder and the uproar that followed still haunts me.”
Sartaj does not remember exactly if the family had taken all its belongings from the house before leaving the village for good. The family, now in the metro culture, often recounts its association with the village and their neighbours, he said.
“Back in Bisada, our house wasn’t palatial but it had peace. I was born and brought up there. There was never any clash or dispute with anyone. Despite a small population of Muslims, we were never seen through the prism of religion. However, all of this changed and the house in the village that used to be the most comfortable place now generates a mixed feeling,” said Sartaj.
Ikhlaq’s youngest son, Danish, who was also thrashed on the night of the lynching hardly ventures out from his Delhi residence and stays home with his family members despite recovering from the head injuries he suffered during the incident. He keeps narrating the sequence of events often.
The family of Ikhlaq believes that even if they visit the village, it will only create turbulence. “We don’t want the village to simmer again, for any reason. I am sure that I will visit the village someday. Also, the village is yet to regain its sense of calm,” Sartaj said.
The family members recollect their lives in the village through photos on the internet that were widely published following the lynching. The village was camped by the media and political leaders, from the state and Centre, the family recalls.