Dalits, Muslims targeted across India: Will Modi walk the talk on inclusion and diversity?
Dalits, Muslims targeted across India
After the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, replete with polarising themes and communal attacks, second time Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, in his victory speech, said
that the minorities are made to live in fear and appealed to put an end to this. However, it seems as if his apparent appeal hasn’t reached his own party members, his supporters as well as his party’s parent organisation, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its affiliates.
There have been multiple instances of communal violence and cow vigilantism across the nation, after Modi got elected for the second time.
Below is a comprehensive list of such incidents which shows that minorities continue to live in peril and mere assurances by our Prime Minister may not be enough to appease them.
Tribal activist arrested for his ‘right to eat beef’ post, May 27, Jharkhand
A prominent tribal activist and teacher in Jamshedpur Co-operative College, Jharkhand, Jeetrai Hansda, was arrested on May 27, two years after a complaint was filed against him by the RSS’s student wing, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), for his facebook post on Adivasi communities’ tradition of eating beef and conducting ceremonial cow sacrifice.
Muslim man shot for his name, told to go back to Pakistan, May 26, Bihar
In another horrific incident, a Muslim man named Mohammad Qasim, was allegedly
shot after he revealed his Muslim name and was told to go back to Pakistan. The incident took place on May 26 in Begusarai, Bihar. An FIR has been lodged at the local Cheria-Bariarpur police station and Rajiv Yadav has been named as one of the accused. Notably, the Begusarai seat was won by Giriraj Singh, who is highly infamous for his communal politics.
Latvian assaulted for not chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram, May 28, Uttar Pradesh
Even the foreigners have not been spared from Hindu fundamentalism. Reportedly
, on May 28, a Latvian was attacked near a temple at Mathura and was forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram.’ When he refused to do so, he was attacked with a knife on his throat. An FIR has been registered under section 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code, against the accused, Rishi Kumar.
Hindu woman assaulted by VHP member for marrying a Muslim man, Uttarakhand
In another paternalistic incident
, a young adult Hindu woman was physically and verbally abused by a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) member, Vikas Sharma, at a City Magistrate in Uttarakhand on the day when she was to marry her Muslim partner. A complaint has been lodged by the woman against Sharma and investigations are underway.
Burqa-clad Muslim woman harassed, May 25, West Bengal
In West Bengal, where the BJP’s performance was extremely unexpected and unprecedented, a 23-year old Muslim girl was harassed by a group of 10 to 12 men outside her college on May 25. Reportedly
, when the men saw the hijab-wearing girl they started chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ loudly and tried to intimidate her. An FIR has been lodged against the accused.
Two Muslim men and a woman assaulted by cow vigilantes, May 22, Madhya Pradesh
Just a day before the election results were announced, two Muslim men and one woman were brutally thrashed
by a group of cow vigilantes over the suspicion of carrying beef in Seoni, Madhya Pradesh. One of the accused, Shubham Baghel, was seen campaigning for BJP’s Bhopal candidate and 2008 Malegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur. An FIR has been lodged against the five accused.
Dalit couple attacked for their post on discrimination, May 20, Gujarat
In Vadodara, Gujarat, a Dalit couple was attacked
by a group of upper caste men over the Dalit man’s facebook post saying that the government does not permit the village temple to be used for Dalit wedding ceremonies. Though the incident took place on May 20, the couple approached the police on May 24. An FIR has been lodged against 11 accused. Notably, secretary general of Rajput Shakti Yuva Sangathan’s Padra unit, Kiran Padhiyar, filed a complaint against the male victim under IPC sections 153 1 (a) and (b) (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language), 294 (Obscene acts and songs) and 406 (Punishment for criminal breach of trust).
Four labourers assaulted on suspicion of eating beef, May 29, Uttar Pradesh
In another incident of cow vigilantism, four labourers were allegedly
beaten by a group of youth over the suspicion that they were eating beef. The incident took place on May 29 in Bareilly district, Uttar Pradesh. The Bareilly police registered an FIR on May 31 against four identified persons and three unidentified persons.
Nine year old Dalit girl raped, panchayat forces family to not file a complaint, May 30, Uttarakhand
On May 30, a 9-year old Dalit girl was allegedly
raped by a 28-year old upper-caste man from the Rajput community, named Nitin Singh Pawar. The incident took place in Nainbagh area of Tehri district, Uttarakhand. The accused was arrested on May 31 and booked under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, Section 376 (rape) and other relevant sections of SC/ST Act. Notably, the victim’s mother has alleged that the local panchayat forced her family to not report the crime to the police.
Dalit farmer’s limbs cut and burnt alive, June 17, Uttar Pradesh
In yet another case of caste-driven atrocity, a 33-year old Dalit farmer’s limbs were cut and then burnt alive
by a group of miscreants when he was resting near his farm in Kotwali Patti, Bela Rampur, Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh. The incident took place when the victim, Vinay Kumar Saroj alias Bablu, was sleeping near a pumping set, 300 meters away from his house, to guard his farm. Reportedly, the incident was a result of an altercation between Vinay and members from other communities, after Vinay was seen celebrating India’s win against Pakistan in the cricket match held on Sunday. The police has lodged a complaint against unknown persons under sections 302 (murder) and 201(disappearance of evidence) and have taken Vijendra, the victim’s partner in his piggery business, into custody for interrogation.
Dalit youth murdered, two more critical, June 12, Gujarat
On June 12, a Dalit youth named Prakash was allegedly nabbed to death by three accused, who attacked his house and then murdered him with a knife
. The victim was rushed to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Two other people are critical and undergoing treatment in the hospital. As per the Thangadh police, a case has been registered under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities Act) and have arrested two of the accused.
8-year old Dalit boy made to sit on hot tiles over suspicion of theft, June 16, Maharashtra
An 8-year Dalit boy named Aryan Khadse was made to sit on hot tiles over the suspicion of theft from a local temple, Jogona Mata temple, in Arvi, Wardha, Maharashtra on June 16. Khadse suffered severe burn injuries
after he was allegedly made to take off his clothes and sit on the tiles which were simmering due to the scorching heat by the accused, Amol Dhore (32), who suspected that Khadse had stolen coins. An accused has been arrested and a case has been registered under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act-1989, relevant sections of the IPC and the POCSO act.
Muslim family attacked by people in saffron, June 9, Uttar Pradesh
In yet another communal incident, a Muslim family was attacked
while they were in a van, 40 kilometers away from Aligarh in Jattari village, by a group of saffron-clad men. Reportedly, the accused, who were on bikes, attacked the van with rods which had a Hindu girl as well who tried to stop the miscreants. An FIR has been lodged in the local police station. There is a suspicion that the attack was the result of the recent communally-charged Aligarh murder case of a two year old (Hindu) girl by (Muslim) accused which has led to polarisation and an anti-Muslim scenario.
Muslim youth lynched over suspicion of theft, June 18, Jharkhand
On June 18, 2019, a 24-year old Muslim man, Tabrez Ansari, was brutally beaten
after being tied to a pole over the suspicion that he had stolen a new bike. The incident took place in Jamshedpur Jharkhand while Ansari was on his way home on a bike. A mob, led by Pappu Mandar, tied Ansari to a pole, force him to tell his name and then told him to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Jai Hanuman.’ The next morning the mob took Ansari to the police who then booked Ansari under theft charges and sent him to jail. After Ansari’s health deteriorated on the night of June 21, he was taken to the Seraikela Sadar Hospital, where he died around 10 A.M. the next day. The police have taken the accused into custody and suspended two officials for negligence.
Muslim man attacked for not chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’, June 21, Delhi
A Muslim man named Mohammad Momin was allegedly attacked by three car-borne people
in the Rohini area of the national capital after he refused to chant Jai Shri Ram. The incident took place on the morning of June 21, when a white car stopped Momin and told to read some religious lines to which Momin refused. A complaint has been lodged against the accused and the police are examining the CCTV footage to gather evidence.
Muslim men beaten and forced to chant Jai Shri Ram, June 18, Assam
A group of Muslim men were allegedly attacked by members of a local right-wing group
while they were travelling in a car in Barpeta, Assam on June 18. The assailants first attacked the victims and then forced them to say ‘Jai Shri Ram,’ ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ and ‘Pakistan Murdabad.’ Two FIRs have been filed against the right wing organisation and its founder by the All Assam Minority Students'' Union (AAMSU) and the North-East Minorities Students' Union (NEMSU).