On Sunday, the streets of Jantar Mantar resonated with slogans and speeches demanding justice for Junaid, Pekhlu Khan, Akhlaq and other victims of mob lynching.
On the call of Mewat Panchayat for a 3 day sit-in protest, people from Nuh, Faridabad and other places had assembled in Jantar Mantar. A group of 40-50 people from Junaid’s village, Khandawali in Ballabhgarh also attended the protest.
“This has been organised by the people of Mewat… Because of the circumstances now, we feel the need to be on the road to fight,” Sher Mohammed, head of Rajasthan’s Meo panchayat, said.
Jalaluddin Khan, father of 15-year-old Junaid, and Irshad, son of Pehlu Khan, participated in the protest demanding justice for victims of mob lynching.
Nadeem, a protester, quoted as saying: "This protest is against those 200 people who were present at the Asavati platform but didn't come forward to help the injured Junaid and his brothers".
Along with political and social activists, academicians, workers, Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) also gathered at the protest site to express their solidarity. Banners with photos of Dadri lynching victim Mohammad Akhlaq, Pehlu Khan, missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmad, and Junaid floated in the crowd.
Najeeb’s sister, Sadaf Musharraf, spoke about “the number of cows that die from eating plastic…”, and called for “law against mob lynching”.
Earlier, Satarupa Chakraborty, JNUSU General Secretary, said: "JNUSU held meeting with all student bodies and progressive citizens and decided to hold a united protest against mob lynching incidents".
"Since the BJP came into power in 2014, there have been series of attacks on marginalised groups. It must be stopped immediately and JNUSU appeals to one and all to extend support and take part in the meeting at 11 am on Sunday [July 2] to chart out the future course of action," JNUSU said in a release.
The protest call came after hundreds of Delhiites joined the demonstration named 'Not In My Name' to protest against the series of mob lynching. The series of mob lynching started with the gruesome assault on Mohammad Akhlaq by an Islamophobic mob. The series of lynching claimed the life of people from marginalized communities including Pehlu Khan, Hafiz Junaid, Alimuddin from Ramgarh, Jharkhand.
As the timeline of cow protection moves from Gau raksha to Gautankwad, the nation witnessed a series of attacks against Muslims and Dalits. Muslims were the primary target in majority of violence based on bovine issues; from 2010 to 2017, according to a content analysis of the English media. 28 Indians killed in 63 incidents during this time period and Muslims comprised 86% of it.
As many of 97% of these attacks were reported after Modi regime came to power in May 2014. Since then the Sangh Parivar outfits, which led the lynching, have been enjoying state protection and patronage to pursue its ultra-nationalist Hindutva agenda.