If the family of Mohammad Akhlaq, who was lynched by a mob in 2015, can get state compensation, what is wrong with the family of Sumit Kumar, who was killed in the Bulandshahr violence, getting aid, BJP leader Sangeet Som said Thursday.
The controversial MLA from Sardhana constituency in Meerut district made the remarks during a press conference, three days after a police inspector and a bystander were killed in the violence which broke out over cow slaughtering in Bulandshahr's Siyana tehsil.
A purported video which surfaced on social media on Wednesday showed Sumit, 20, carrying bricks in his hands as he appeared to be a part of a mob, minutes before he died of a gunshot during the violence.
Asked about the video and the compensation demand of Sumit's family, Som said, "We are no one to judge anything, a SIT (Special Investigation Team) has been formed and it will present its report".
He said nobody should have a problem if the bereaved family gets compensation from the government as it had happened with Akhlaq.
Akhlaq was allegedly beaten to death by a mob over suspicion that he had consumed beef at his house in Gautam Buddh Nagar's Dadri in 2015.
"That time the Samajwadi Party government had given compensation to Akhlaq's family, then what is the issue if the government does it now? If Sumit is found guilty, there should be acting accordingly, if not, then what is the problem with the compensation?" Som said.
"Did you raise a question when Akhlaq was given compensation by the government despite 'govansh' (part of cow) being found in his house ... you must remember that," he claimed.
"If anyone is found with stones (guilty), action would be taken against them," the BJP MLA added.
In Chingrawathi village, Sumit's family had initially refused to conduct his last rites until the government assured Rs 5 million compensation, pension to his parents and a police job to his elder brother.
They agreed to cremate the body only after the district administration announced a compensation of Rs 500,000 to the family and were assured by the local MP and MLA of pursuing their demand for compensation with the state government.
On Bajrang Dal and BJP workers being named in the FIR for violence and rioting in the case, Som said regardless of political affiliations, caste or religion, the guilty would be punished.
"The chief minister has directed the administration for strict action against the guilty," he said.
"So much effort is being made to stop cow slaughtering, yet some people indulge in it to vitiate the atmosphere. Be assured that strict action would be taken against them," the BJP leader warned.
Asked whether the government failed to curb the incidents of cow slaughtering, Som shot back and said it will be the state's failure when no strict action will be taken against the guilty.
Som also defended the Uttar Pradesh Police and lauded it for the "hard work", saying some of the accused have been arrested while those absconding would be nabbed soon.
Asked about some "dispute" over the names mentioned in the FIR on cow slaughter charges, the BJP MLA said when thousands of people are involved and a case is registered, there are "chances of error".
"It would only be a mistake if these names get charge sheeted. The wrong names will be dropped," he said, claiming that the incident was a "huge conspiracy and it will be proved when the probe findings are out".