Was Dadri Incident Really Linked to Communal Hatred…??

Uttar Pradesh is a swing state in terms of electoral battles and it is no secret that the party that holds on to this state has an upper hand in the Rajya Sabha.  This is also the most polarised state as far as political battles are concerned. The state is divided not only on religious lines but on caste and sub-caste basis as well. With the state all set to go for assembly elections next year, comes the explosive news of the meat that lead to Dadri violence incident, being beef. The final report, presented in the court, was compiled by Central Forensic and Scientific Lab (CFSL) located in Mathura. Interestingly it comes under the purview of Uttar Pradesh State Government.

The Dadri incident had caused uproar throughout the nation. A mob had attacked Mohammad Akhlaq on suspicions of having killed and eaten calf meat. As is the wont of mainstream media, a fight between two families was blown out of proportion and given a religious and communal angle. Not ones to be left behind, politicians of all hues and shades, had jumped in to milk the situation. They had made it seem like minorities in general and Muslims in particular were being victimised under ‘Modi’s rule’. Well, these parties don’t need a reason for minority appeasement and Modi bashing. So it didn’t come as a surprise that they twisted facts and presented a terrifying scenario. That entire polarisation was obviously done keeping Bihar elections in mind.

Not surprisingly the preliminary report stated that the meat was that of goat and not cow. The first report was issued by Deputy Chief Medical Veterinary Officer of the Government Veterinary Hospital, Dadri. It said that meat that was seized weighed about 4-5 kgs and non-hygienic, foul smelling and red in colour. Initial examinations seemed to suggest that the meat belonged to goat progeny. However, the officer did mention in the report that further examination and confirmation was necessary and hence the meat was being sent to CFSL for conducting the required tests.

As per reports, a mob of 200 strong people gathered outside Akhlaq’s house after an announcement was made at the local temple stating that beef was being consumed at the former’s house. On further enquiry, it was discovered that the calf had been stolen from one of the villager’s home and that there was personal animosity between the two families. But police registered an FIR saying it was a communal incident ignited by the Hindu groups and arrested 17 persons in total including the son of a local BJP leader. A charge-sheet has also been filed in this regard.

With the forensic report now proving beyond doubt that the meat was indeed beef, it turns the case on its head. All those who had sought to seek political mileage through minority appeasement have nowhere to hide. The media that had been crying hoarse over ‘minorities are in danger’ have also been proven wrong once again. Of course, we can never expect an apology or even corrigendum from both politicians and the media who thrive on communal polarisation. The report, however, highlights that fact that reality often varies from perception and hence it is better that we never jump to conclusions without thorough investigations. Only time will tell how much of an impact this would have on the upcoming assembly elections in UP and who would benefit from it.

Latha Iyer