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NPRD Condemns Mob Lynching of Disabled Driver in Bihar

Mohammad Zahiruddin, a 55-year-old disabled driver, was targeted based on suspicion of carrying beef.
The Vulnerable Need Protection from Lynching: Shehla Rashid

New Delhi: The National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD) has condemned the killing of Mohammad Zahiruddin, a 55-year-old driver and person with a disability, in Bihar's Saran district. Zahiruddin was lynched allegedly by a mob of self-proclaimed "gau rakshaks" (cow protectors) while he was trying to repair his broken-down truck on the road.

According to reports, the differently-abled Muslim driver was killed by a mob that suspected he was carrying beef around midnight on Thursday. The mob lynching took place when the truck driver was stopped. He was transporting animal bones for medicinal purposes, according to the police.

The incident occurred in the Khori Pakar area of Jalalpur police station of Saran district when the truck, heading from Tajpur Basahi towards a bone factory in Gaura, broke down in the middle of the road, forcing the driver to stop to repair it. Police officials said that when the driver started looking for help, “some villagers” came near the truck and asked what was being transported, smelling meat and bone. Suspecting that beef was being transported, they started thrashing him.

The helper of the truck, Khurshid Ali, saved his life by running away from the spot. However, Zahiruddin, a resident of Majhwalia village under the Gaura police station, could not run because he had a steel rod implanted in one of his legs. The villagers beat him up and then ran away. Later he was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was declared dead.

In a statement, NPRD highlighted that even transporting such materials has become a pretext for a crime punishable by death, “as demonstrated by this gruesome incident.

It noted that the killing was part of a “distressing pattern where disabled individuals were targeted and subjected to violence and lynching.” “However, it expressed particular concern about the recent trend of victims being singled out based on their religious identity. In a similar incident on February 25, Mohammad Faiyaz, a person with mental health issues, was beaten to death by a mob in Bihar's Samastipur district.

The NPRD statement attributed these horrific incidents to ongoing “venomous communal campaigns.”  It called upon the Bihar state government to crack down on all those engaging in communal and hate propaganda.

While some arrests have been made in connection with Zahiruddin's killing, the NPRD emphasised the need for a comprehensive investigation until the perpetrators were brought to account.

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