On 28th September 2015, a violent mob in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh killed Mohammad Akhlaq
A Hindu mob armed with sticks attacked Akhlaq and his family at their home. Akhlaq, 52, perished in the attack and his son Danish, 20, was left badly injured.
This was because he had allegedly illegally slaughtered and consumed cow meat
The mob had been inflamed by an announcement at the local temple that Akhlaq’s family had a killed a cow and consumed its meat on Eid-al-Adha (also known as Bakri Eid). Akhlaq’s family asserts that only mutton had been consumed.
The situation was brought under control and an investigation ensued
The police filed an FIR against 10 of the attackers based on the family’s testimony and to date, have arrested 18 people, including the son of a local BJP leader.
There have been conflicting reports about the meat that had been consumed
The meat was initially identified as mutton but later confirmed to be beef by a lab test. However, the sample had been taken from outside Akhlaq’s home so its ownership is in question, while the prosecution also maintains that the meat has no bearing on the murder case.
This incident has given rise to a nationwide debate on intolerance
The issue of rising intolerance, especially from Right-wing Hindu groups, immediately became a subject of public discourse. PM Narendra Modi condemned the incident and urged people to stay united. Notable personalities like Aamir Khan spoke publicly of their concerns, and several scientists, authors and filmmakers returned Government awards to register their protest.
… and has contributed to the narrative building on several similar stories
This incident has become part of the larger discussion on Right-wing Hindu extremism, which also includes the accusations of ‘anti-national’ behavior against JNU students and the suppression of dissent from liberal commentators. Such incidents have raised fears about the erosion of freedom of expression in India.