Three days after Mohammad Akhlaq was killed by a lynch mob in the Uttar Pradesh village of Dadri on rumours that he and his family had killed a calf and eaten it, reports in the Urdu press focussed on claims that the murder was premeditated and instigated by people at a local temple.

In Delhi, 50 km from the site of crime, Urdu daily Jadid Khabar ran a front-page headline saying “Gau kashi ki afwa par Mohammad Akhlaq ka qatl mansooba band”, or “Murder of Mohammad Akhlaq on rumours of cow slaughter was planned”. The report also stated that “it has come to light that people received orders from the temple to gather and attack”.

Jadid Khabar, Delhi edition, October 1, 2015

Early this week, rumours began to circulate in Dadri’s Bisahara village that the Akhlaq family had killed a calf. On Monday night, a violent mob broke into the Akhlaq home and stoned him to death. His son, who was also injured, is now in a critical condition. On Tuesday, when the police arrested six villagers for the attack, a mob attacked the police.

In their reports on the Dadri incident, many Hindi newspapers on Wednesday focused on the clash between the police and the mob instead of the horrific killing. One paper described Akhlaq as “the man accused of killing an animal”.

In contrast, Urdu newspapers on Thursday emphasised the horrors faced by the victim and his family, while repeatedly describing the allegations of cow slaughter as “rumours”.

The Delhi edition of Siasat carried photos of the Akhlaq’s vandalised home with the headline “Hajoom ne ghar mein ghus kar tabahi machai”, or “Mob entered home and ransacked it”.

Siasat, Delhi edition, October 1.

The story also claimed that “on investigation”, the meat found in the fridge was “bakre ka gosht” or mutton.


The headline in Sahafat’s Delhi edition said, “Greater Noida mein Muslim khandaan ke saath darindagi”, or “In Greater Noida, savagery against a Muslim family”.

Sahafat, Delhi edition, October 1

The sub-head, meanwhile, described the details of the attack: “Akhlaq Mohammed was dragged out of his home and beaten to death; his son is critical;  six out of 10 accused have been arrested, including temple priest."

Urdu Times Daily

In its Mumbai edition, Urdu Times reported that an inquiry has been ordered into the murder while compensation of Rs 10 lakh has been announced for the Akhlaq family

Urdu Times Daily, Mumbai edition, October 1.