Above the fold: Top stories of the day
1. India has called Pakistan a “prime sponsor of terrorism” and asked it to vacate Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir.
2. New material has cast doubts on the conviction of 12 people for the 7/11 Mumbai bomb blasts.
3. The Nepal blockade has ended; essential supplies enter Nepal.

The Big Story: Whitewashing a crime
A day after a Muslim man was brutally lynched over rumours that he had eaten beef, local Bharatiya Janata Party leaders on Monday seemed to justify the murder by suggesting that the victim was at fault if he really did have beef stored in his house. The party is also threatening to hold a mahapanchayat if the accused are charged with murder instead of the less serious charge of culpable homicide.

BJP district president Thakur Singh told the Times of India, “The locals gave samples of meat to the police but they (the cops) did not take it seriously. Then some people got agitated.” Seeming to now target the family, another BJP leader, Vichtra Tomar said, “We also demand legal action against those people, who are engaged in cow slaughter as it is hurting Hindu sentiments." Nawab Singh Nagar, Dadri’s ex-MLA also blamed the family: “If cow slaughter and its consumption is proven, they (the victim and his family) are definitely at fault”.

Denying that this was murder, Shrichand Sharma, vice-president of BJP’s western UP unit, told the Indian Express, “The man did not die because of the injuries but because of shock when someone (wrongly) told him his son was dead. This happens every day. When we hurt people’s sentiments, such clashes take place. This was not a communal riot. The Hindu community worships cows. Whose blood won’t boil if they see cow slaughter?”

Blaming the state administration, for being biased towards a “particular community”, Sharma wanted a case to be registered against the family of the victim who were attacked for alleged cow slaughter and also for the accused to be booked for culpable homicide. In order to drum up popular support for their demands, Sharma said the Bharatiya Janata Party will hold a mahapanchayat on October 11.

The Times of India reported that the priests who made the announcement that led to the lynching, was forced to do it by a few men from the village where the victim, Mohammed Akhlaq lived. This is not the first incident to vitiate the peace in the region and might be a concerted attempt to stir the pot ahead of the panchayat polls in Uttar Pradesh next week.

The Samajwadi Party is yet to make a statement about this killing but has ensured that the area is blanketed with police personnel.

The Big Scroll: Scroll.in on the day’s biggest story
The Uttar Pradesh police is turning the vicitm into the accused party, a sentiment largely echoed by the Hindi press. Beef vigilatism is now a widespread phenomen in India, with a number of groups advertising their activities of torture and lynchings openly

Politicking & Policying
1. In a rare meeting of five chief ministers, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and West Bengal chief minister, Mamata Banerjee accused the Centre of using its governors to undermine state governments.
2. Amit Shah and Lalu Yadav are in a war of words ahead of the Bihar Assembly polls.
3. Maharashtra has hiked taxes on luxury goods by imposing a "drought surcharge" to compensate for scrapping the local body tax.

1. The India-US relationship enters a new phase but New Delhi will need to improve its ease of doing business, argues Meera Shankar in the Indian Express.
2. In the Hindu, Janaki Nair laments the utter politicization of our history.
3. In the Business Standard, Rahul Jacob explores the possibilities of Adhar.
4. Teesta Setalvad’s hounding by the Gujarat government shows how feudal our democracy still is writes Prabhat Patnaik in the Telegraph.