Washington DC: Giving a boost to the ongoing protests titled #NotInMyName being held across India since last fortnight, Indian Americans on Sunday participated in a rally held at the Dupont Circle in US capital Washnigton DC to draw attention of the government to the recent lynchings of innocent people in India in the name of protecting the cows.
"We, Indian-Americans, Indians and other like-minded communal harmony and peace activists have watched with much anguish the incidents of senseless lynching and murderous public violence in the name of religion that have occurred in the last one year and are continuing to occur in various parts of India", the Indian Americans protesting against mob lynching under the banner of Alliance for Justice and Accountability (AJS) said.
"We have assembled here today to hold this vigil, to express our anguish and to appeal to all people of India and the Government of India and the police in India to take immediate effective steps to bring to justice the culprits responsible for these incidents and to take precautionary steps to stop such incidents forthwith, and to restore communal harmony and peace in all parts of the Indian nation", they added.
"This murderous violence is being perpetrated in an organized manner on innocent powerless working class people by sectarian groups that are making false charges, exploiting the religious sentiments of majority Hindus, often in the name of cows who are revered by many Hindus. In many instances the victims were people who were transporting cattle for dairy farming, farming and who worked in the leather industry", they said.
More than 50 people have been reported to have been lynched in public on the streets and highways in many cities throughout India in the last 6 to 12 months in these incidents. Of that about 90% are Dalits and religious minorities.
"The government and police who are responsible to maintain law & order and protect civilians have been painstakingly slow in coming to the help of the victims or apprehending the killing groups. Many senior political leaders have continued to ignore the issue or provide excuses for these lynchings of the innocent", the Indian American said.
"This anarchic situation has created an atmosphere of fear and intimidation among the minorities to the extent that they are becoming afraid to travel and move around. The composite and secular Indian society is becoming increasingly divided between the majority community and the minority communities. This portends ill for the well- being, growth and modernization of the Indian nation which is poised to become a world class power", they said.
A brief list of some recent instances of lynching of innocent civilians in the name of religion on the streets in various cities
- July 2016: Una, Gujarat: 6 Dalit youth who were hired to remove a dead cow and were taking her away were severely thrashed in public.
- June 2016: Koppa, Karnatak. A Dalit family attacked and severely beaten; their house demolished
- August 2016: Uttar Pradesh: 2 Dalits who were hired to skin a dead cow were severely beaten and paraded naked
- June 2017: Ramgarh, Jharkhand. Alimuddin, also known as Asgar Ali was thrashed to death and his car set on fire by a mob on the suspicion that he was transporting beef.
- June 2017: Ballabhgarh, Haryana. 4 Muslim boys returning from Delhi were attacked with knives, one by the name Junaid was killed by a mob inside the train compartment.
- April 2017: Alwar, Rajasthan: A cattle trader Pehlu Khan and his companions attacked and beaten severely. They were transporting their cattle. Pehlu Khan died.
- May 2017: Jharkhand: 4 Muslims lynched on the false allegation of being thieves of children
- April 2016: Haryana. Abbas was travelling back after buying bulls at a cattle trade fair. He was severely thrashed and injured. Survived with his life.
- March 2016: Jharkhand. 2 Muslim men (Mazlum Ansari, Imteyaz Khan) , cattle traders hanged on false charges of taking cows for slaughter
- Large number of instances of Muslims working in dairy farms, transporting cattle, leather industry beaten up severely in many cities by groups of people falsely blaming them for taking cows to slaughter.
- 3 fold increase in attacks on churches and Christian pastors in the last few years
- March 2015: Jabalpur, MP: Bible convention attacked, pastors beaten up and convention vandalized.
- February 2015: Mangalore. Church set on fire
- March 2015: Haryana. Church attacked and set on fire.
- December 2014: Church in Delhi attacked and vandalized.
- July 2017: Anantnag, Kashmir. 7 Hindu pilgrims returning from pilgrimage to Amarnath shrine killed when their bus was fired upon by some militants
- June 2017: Bashirhaat, West Bengal: 1 Hindu man killed in a communal riot between Muslims and Hindus in the Muslim majority town.