Bishada: A week into the lynching of Mohammad Iqlakh, residents of Dadri's Bishada nurse a deep resentment over being "unfairly victimised" as visitors make a beeline to the crime spot in the village where shards of glasses, broken sewing machines and a battered refrigerator mutely testifying the fateful night of September 28.
Manned by a grand statue of Maharana Pratap, the entrance to the Rajput-dominated Bishada village and its fairly well-paved lanes, bylanes, solar-powered streetlights, ATM counters and shops are indicative of its relative affluence in one of India's poorest states.
But the air of the same village and its deathly silence betray a deep sense of distrust of the administration, media and outsiders in general with people alleging that their "side of the events are not being highlighted."
"Vilifying the entire village for one incident is wrong. Kuch toh galat hua hoga na jis liye ye hadsa hua (something wrong must have taken place for which the lynching took place)," says villager Yashpal Singh, sitting at local BJP leader Sanjay Rana's home, close to Iqlakh's residence.
Yashpal says, "Mistakes do happen. But the villagers should not be unfairly victimised like this."
Rana's son, one of the prime accused in the case, has been arrested by Noida Police. Rana was not available for comment, however, his relatives complain that "the family is being made a scapegoat".
Few blocks away, as hundreds assemble to mourn the passing away of Jayprakash (24) who was found dead under mysterious circumstances, his mother Omvati's wailing reaches a crescendo.
"Our boys are terrorised. See what has happened with him due to police harassment. They are not sparing any youth," a group of angry women say in unison.
Even the village head, Sanjeev Rana, is not spared of their wrath.
"You (Sanjeev) are colluding with the netas.You are equally threatening us and not considering our side," a woman says, pointing fingers at him.
"Iqlakh's family got Rs 45 lakh as compensation, what about this family of labourers?"
Appearing helpless, Sanjeev turns to the media and says, "I am just merely doing my duty. People of both communities have been living together in harmony for decades. I just hope peace is restored as soon as possible."