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Slew of Violent Instances Continues Against Dalits, Muslims

A Muslim man was shot at in Begusarai on Sunday, beaten up in another instance in Gurugram.
Mohd. Qasim

Image Courtesy: The Hindu

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi was thanking voters in Varanasi for the landslide victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies, a string of violent incidents against the marginalised communities, especially Muslims, were being reported.

On Sunday, a youth, Mohd. Qasim, was shot at in Begusarai district allegedly after he was asked his name. An FIR has been lodged at the local Cheria-Bariarpur police station of the district but the accused has not been arrested yet, said the police. “I was stopped by Rajiv Yadav and he asked me my name…when I told him my name he fired at me and said you should go to Pakistan,” alleged Qasim in a video on social media. An  FIR was lodged at the local police station.

BJP leader Giriraj Singh won the Lok Sabha poll from the constituency recently, defeating CPI candidate and former JNU student union leader Kanhaiya Kumar by over 4.5 lakh votes.

In another instance on Sunday, a Muslim man was allegedly beaten up by a group of men at Jacubpura in Gurugram in Haryana  after he was told to remove his skullcap and chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’. No arrests have been made so far.

Mohammad Barkat, a 25-year-old, was returning to his shop around 10 p.m. on Saturday after offering prayers at Jama Masjid in Gurugram when a group of about half a dozen men allegedly accosted him outside a sweet shop and asked him to remove his skull cap.

“One of the men called used an offensive word and told me that skullcaps were not allowed in this area. When I told him that I was returning from a mosque, he slapped me. He also asked me to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and ‘Jai Shri Ram’. When I refused, he threatened to feed me pork,” Barkat was quoted as saying in news reports. He said he had come to Gurugram earlier this month to learn tailoring.

Not just Muslims, dalits are also being targeted. On May  24, the Bihar Police had allegedly thrashed dalits and yadavs for voting against BJP. In a video circulating on social media, the villagers can be heard blaming the police for snatching their money and abusing them verbally and physically. They also alleged that the police attacked them because they voted for the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) instead of BJP. The RJD has accused the police of acting on the instructions from BJP Lok Sabha MP from Buxar, Ashwini Kumar Choubey.

In another instance,  Jeetrai Hansda, a professor at the Government School and College for Women, Sakchi, in Jharkhand was arrested on Saturday. The FIR lodged at the Sakchi police station in Jamshedpur, stated that Hansda had written a Facebook post asserting that the adivasi community in India has had a long tradition of eating beef and ceremonial cow sacrifice. It is their democratic and cultural right to consume the meat, he said.

A day before the BJP won a landslide victory on May 23, a violent incident was reported in Madhya Pradesh’s Seoni where self-proclaimed cow vigilantes allegedly thrashed three Muslims, including a woman, over ‘suspicion’ that they were carrying beef. These victims also alleged that they were forced to shout 'Jai Shri Ram'. Currently, the police has registered a case and arrested one person, and the search is on for the other accused.

In  Gujarat, a mob of 200-300 upper caste people allegedly attacked the house of a dalit couple in Mahuvad village in Padra taluka of Vadodara, after the husband allegedly put up a Facebook post saying that the government does not permit the village temple to be used for dalit wedding ceremonies.

India just witnessed the country’s most acrimonious election campaign in recent history which was peppered with references to ‘illegal’ migrants from Bangladesh as “termites”, the nomination to Parliament of a terror accused who termed Gandhi’s killer as a ‘patriot’ , among others.

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