Thousands gather in Jantar Mantar and other cities to protest against mob violence
Friday, June 30, 2017
On Wednesday, thousands of citizens gathered in New Delhi's and other cities across India to protest against mob violence against minority communities of Muslims and , which has increased in recent years. Documentary film-maker asked for "protest against the " via a Facebook post on June 24, after a teenage Muslim boy, Junaid Khan, and his brothers were reportedly racially abused, and Junaid allegedly stabbed and killed by a mob, after a dispute last week in Haryana.
About 2000 people gathered for the protest — Not in my Name — in the Indian capital, while several others protested in Bombay, , , , Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, , , Kochi, and Jaipur. There were protests held in London as well. The protests came after several instances where people were killed due to mob violence, the victims mostly from the minority communities of Muslims and Dalits. Protesters held placards with messages such as "No Place for Islamophobia", "Break the Silence", and "Shed Hate not Blood". Saba Dewan said, "the protest is against this systematic violence against Muslims and Dalits that is going on in our country at the moment". The protesters presented poems, songs and danced on stage on the Jantar Manter to express their views. , New Delhi's deputy chief minister, also took part in the protest. In Bombay, protesters were permitted till 7 PM.
"Shouldn't there be protests against the lynchings especially after the murder yesterday inby a mob of a 16 year old Muslim boy? If not now then when? Why wait for political formations to organize a demonstration ? Why can't all of us as citizens repulsed by the violence get together in protest at the earliest next week at Jantar Mantar under the banner - Not in my Name", Dewan posted on Facebook.
Junaid's brother Hasseem said the people "were pointing at a packet which had food and saying we should not be allowed to sit since we were carrying beef" even though he told they were not carrying beef. The mob, reportedly threw Junaid's skull cap, and called them "beef eaters" and "anti-nationalists". About twenty people were involved in the violence. One man, who was held for the violence toldhe was "told by his friends to attack the Muslim boys because they ate beef". Police arrested four people on Wednesday accused for the violence, police superintendent Kamaldeep Goel told the .
There have been several instances where people were harassed or killed due to mob violence. At least ten Muslims have been reported victims of the mob violence in the past two years, for beef consumption or transporting cows. Cow is considered sacred in Hinduism and many Hindus in the country view cow as a god or mother. Beef is banned in several states of India and a person found guilty for killing a cow can face a prison term up to ten years. But often, the "gau rakshaks" (cow protectors) have taken the law in their hands and lynched the accused. Some of the claims turned out to be false.
Though India is a secular state, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which shares Hindu nationalist views, vowed to ban beef across India. In 2015, ex-Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister said, "Do I assault everyone who eats pork or alcohol?" after Rashid Ahmed was beaten by BJP members for serving beef in a private party. Pork and alcohol are considered and hence, their consumption is prohibited in Islam.
"Killing people in the name of 'gau bhakti' [cow devotion] is not acceptable", Modi said yesterday.
- "Modi warns cow vigilantes, says killing people in the name of 'gau bhakti' cannot be accepted" — , June 29, 2017
- "#NotInMyName: Indians protest against 'beef lynching'" — , June 28, 2017
- "#NotInMyName campaign highlights: Sisodia, Shabana, Konkona join protests" — , June 28, 2017
- Not in My Name campaign: Citizens protest against mob violence" — , June 28, 2017. "
- Junaid Khan lynching: Four more including 50-yr-old arrested" — , June 28, 2017. "
- Saba Dewan's Facebook post" — , June 24, 2017. "
- "Muslims on India train assaulted 'because they ate beef'" — , June 24, 2017
- "India 'beef' lynching: PM Modi breaks silence" — , October 8, 2015
- AFP. "Muslim man dies after attack by cow vigilantes in India" — , April 5, 2017
- Michael Safi. "Muslim man dies in India after attack by Hindu 'cow protectors'" — , April 5, 2017
- Jason Bruke. "Brother of Indian man murdered for eating beef calls for calm" — , October 5, 2015