- Qasim and Samiyuddin were assaulted by mob on suspicion of cow slaughter
- Family claims that attack was clear case of hate crime, not road rage
- Police have registered a murder case and arrested two people
Earlier this evening, the families of both men held a press conference in Delhi, saying the attack on the men was a clear case of hate crime and not road rage as the police was suggesting.
"I went to the hospital and asked my brother about a stain on his thumb after I noticed it, he told me that he has no memory... the police wrote something and were asking us to sign, we were reluctant and that's when they would have taken by brother's thumb impression", alleged Mehruddin, the brother of the man fighting for his life in hospital.
But the UP Police say this is not true.
"Qasim, the man killed, his brother gave a complaint in writing where he spoke about the incident involving bikes and road rage. An investigation is still on. If either family files another complaint we will include it in the FIR", said Anand Kumar, the UP Police officer in charge of law and order in the state.
The two men - Qasim and Samayuddin - were assaulted by a mob on Monday, about 70 kilometres from Delhi. A photograph that went viral shows Qasim, being dragged by locals as three policemen watch. The police have apologised, and say the photograph was taken a few minutes after they arrived and tried to take the victims of vigilante justice to hospital.
A one-minute video that emerged on Wednesday showed Qasim lying in a field, his clothes almost torn off. He can be heard writhing in pain. A voice off camera warns the attackers, also off camera, to back off and give some water to him. "You have hit him, assaulted him, enough is enough. Please understand. There are consequences", says the voice.
However, another voice cuts him off, saying, "if we had not reached within two minutes, then the cow would have been slaughtered". Another voice in the video can be heard, saying, "He is a butcher, someone ask him why he was trying to slaughter a calf". As Qasim lay on the ground, the crowd refused to offer him water.
The Hapur police claim the two people were assaulted after a scuffle with some bike-borne men from the neighbouring village. Police have registered a murder case and arrested two people. "There are some rumours of a cow slaughter angle to this, we are investigating that too," said Sankalp Sharma, Hapur's senior-most police officer.