Three Years After Dadri, The Man Accused Of Lynching Mohammad Akhlaq Is Free And Running For Lok Sabha

Betwa Sharma
Hariom Sisodia, accused in the Mohammad Akhlaq lynching case, declared his candidacy for the 2019 Lok Sabha election on September 26, 2018.

NOIDA, Uttar Pradesh — Friday will mark three years since Mohammad Akhlaq, an ironsmith, was lynched by a mob in Bisada village, in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh. Now Hariom Sisodia, one of the 17 accused, is gearing up to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha election from the Gautam Budh constituency in Noida, Uttar Pradesh.

"Mohammad Akhlaq messed with our religion, he messed with our gau mata, what happened to him was right. Anyone who kills cows will meet a similar end," Sisodia told HuffPost India on Wednesday after the Uttar Pradesh Navnirman Sena, the Meerut-based political outfit backing him, made a formal announcement of his candidacy.

While claiming the police had arrested the wrong men, including him, Sisodia reiterated, "What happened to Mohammad Akhlaq was the right thing."

"When I'm a lawmaker I will ensure that not a single cow is killed," he added.

Sisodia, 28, who was released on bail in October 2017 after spending two years in prison, said that he is running for office to protect Hindutva and to hit back at the leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) who, he said, promised to help the 17 accused but eventually did nothing.

"The BJP leaders said that we will ensure justice, we will make sure you are financially okay, and we will get you jobs. But they did nothing. I'm unemployed. The main thing was 'case wapas ho jayega', but that has not happened yet."

There was a public outcry when Mahesh Sharma, a union minister and the Lok Sabha lawmaker from Gautam Budh Nagar, attended the funeral of Ravi, Sisodia's cousin, the 18th accused, who died in police custody in October last year. Sharma had tweeted photos of his visit to the Bisada village, where Ravi's family had draped his body in a national flag. The minister later denied having promised financial assistance to the family.

"It was all a photo opportunity," Sisodia said today. "The money was promised but never deposited."

Mohammad Akhlaq messed with our religion, he messed with our gau mata, what...

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