Mumbai/New Delhi: Hundreds of citizens on Wednesday hit the streets in more than a dozen cities across India in solidarity with the victims of hate crimes and to protest against mob lynching and a series of targeted killings of Muslims and Dalits.
Delhi's Jantar Mantar, where the citizens' protest with the slogan '#NotInMyName' was originally planned, greeted the people with a huge "The Lynch Map of India". The map marks in red the areas of country where the targetted killing of innocents has taken place since 2015.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also joined the citizens at Jantar Mantar where activists led by Saba Dewan and others assembled in a large number to condemn attacks against Muslims and Dalits.
A huge crowd is also reported to have been gathered near Bengalore Town Hall in Bengaluru despite rain.
"Big crowd for #NotInMyName in Bengaluru. More people coming. And the rain gods agree with us! #Stoplynching", Srivatsa posted @srivatsayb on Twitter where #NotInMyName is trending since last few days.
Simultaneous protests are also being held at Subhash Chauraha in Allahabad, High Court Junction Kochi, Dakhinapan premises, next to Madhusudhan Mancha in Kolkata, Gandhi Park in Lucknow, Carter Road Promenade in Mumbai, Gandhi Maidan in Patna, and also in London.
Senior journalist Sagarika Ghose (@sagarikaghose) wrote on twitter:
"Lets reclaim the nation, reclaim Hinduism from the violent bigots, above all reclaim our rights as citizens! #NotInMyName..."
Rohini Chatterji (@RohiniChatterji) condemns the inaction of the Modi government over the killings in these words:
"As people gather for silent protests across the country, the silence of the government rings the loudest. #NotInMyName..."
More than 20 Muslims have been lynched in the last three years for no fault of them.
The protest is being helmed by Saba Dewan who gave out the rallying cry on her Facebook page which soon swept up a great deal of response online enough to be replicated across several cities.
“Shouldn’t there be protests against the lynchings especially after the murder yesterday in Delhi NCR by a mob of a 16-year-old Muslim boy? If not now then when?
"Why wait for political formations to organize a demonstration? Why can’t all of us as citizens repulsed by the violence get together in protest at the earliest next week at Jantar Mantar under the banner – Not in my Name,” she wrote in the post.
The family of 17-year-old Junaid - killed by a mob when he was on his way home to Ballabhgarh after shopping for Eid in Delhi — will also be invited to join the demonstration, Dewan said.
Elsewhere in the country, reports of protest are also coming from Jalgaon, Aurangabad, Nanded and other parts of Maharashtra. A similar protest has been called in Dhule on Thursday June 29.