Increasing Violence and Lynchings against Muslims: CPI(M) Delegation Meets Home Minister

A CPI(M)  delegation along with the sons of Md. Iklakh and Pehlu Khan, both victims of lynch mobs, and other affected families met Home Minister Rajnath Singh on July 4 and gave him a memorandum detailing five specific cases of violence and lynching against Muslim families in the NCR region. The delegation comprised of Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat, Surinder Malik and KM Tewari (secretaries of Haryana and Delhi state committees of CPI(M) respectively), Sehba Farooqui, Inderjit Singh, Abdul Salam, Mubarak Khan and Danish Khan and Gangeswar. The home minister assured the delegation of action on the issues raised. However he was at a loss to explain what steps his government is taking to ensure security of citizens saying that it was a state government matter.

The delegation was part of the protest programme organised at Jantar Mantar on June 4 when hundreds of men and women holding placards demanding justice for Junaid sat on dharna. It was organised by the Haryana and Delhi committees of the CPI(M).

Addressing the dharna, Brinda Karat said that the present government is a joint venture of the BJP-RSS bent on implementing the agenda of Hindutva. Attacking Amit Shah, she said, instead of condemning the lynchings, he has justified them with his highly objectionable comparison of earlier acts of violence forgetting that even those acts were by the Sangh Parivar. She called for unity saying we can fight the government and the police more easily, but we have to prevent the division of people's minds and hearts which is what the RSS is working for. Hannan Mollah, Polit Bureau member of CPI(M),  strongly condemned the cattle sale notification, an instrument to destroy the livelihood of farmers. He expressed support for the demands of the meat sellers association who had come in large numbers to join the dharna from Ghaziabad and Noida.

Other speakers included KM Tewari, Surinder Malik, Inderjit Singh, Sehba Farooqui. The meeting was presided over by Nathu Parshad.

Below we publish the extracts of the memorandum submitted by the delegation to the home minister.

There are increasing cases of violence including lynching, and also false cases against members of the Muslim, dalit and adivasi communities in the name of cow protection. Unfortunately in many of the cases, the families of the victims are being further victimised. While it is true that such cases are to be dealt with by respective state governments, we believe that as union minister for home affairs a strong intervention is required from your Ministry.

1. In the case of the lynching of 15 year old Junaid on a local train, it is shocking that the main accused have not yet been arrested by the police. On the contrary those involved in this horrific lynching are inciting villages in the area to protest against even the arrests that have been made. They are emboldened by the soft attitude of the state government which has not sent a single minister or official to condole the death of Junaid or to enquire about the health of his elder brother Shakir who was badly injured. It is shocking to know that the state government has made no arrangements for proper treatment for Shakir. He has been standing in queues at the OPD in government hospitals in Delhi in great pain. Even after this terrible incident, there are no security forces posted on these train routes. We were informed that communal gangs on these trains pick on passengers identifiable by their appearance to be Muslim and make extremely provocative and highly objectionable statements against them.

In the case we request you to ensure arrest of all those guilty including the main accused, intervene to stop the communal campaign going on in the area to protect the guilty, ensure treatment for Shakir, adequate compensation for the family and security on the trains.

2. You are no doubt aware of the horrific case in Dingarheri, Haryana last August (August 24, 2016) when two girls of a Muslim poor farmer's family were gang-raped, a couple was murdered and other family members injured by a communally charged gang. After strong protests, a CBI inquiry was ordered. Some arrests were made. However although the case has not moved forward in the court, pressure is being put on the family by the accused. Shockingly, a false case of murder has been filed against the victims family to pressure them into coming to a "compromise”.  In this case too, the role of the Haryana government has been in support of the accused.

Two members of the victims family have been arrested under FIR no 49 dated February 10, 2017. This is a travesty of justice. We request you to intervene in this case and to ensure that the false case against the victim’s family is withdrawn.

3. In the case of Pehlu Khan, the dairy farmer from Mewat, who was brutally killed in Ajmer, Rajasthan all the accused have still not been arrested. No compensation has been given to his family or to those who were injured in the attack. On the contrary, an utterly fabricated case of cow smuggling has been filed against the victims. Their milch cows were impounded and cash snatched from them have still not been returned to them.

In this case, we request you to intervene with both the Rajasthan and Haryana governments to arrest all the accused, to give compensation to Pehlu Khan's family and to those injured, to return the Milch cows and cash and to withdraw the false case against them.

4. In the case of Md. Iqlakh of Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, it is two years since a communally incited mob broke into his home and brutally beat him to death and grievously injured his son Danish. It is shocking that even after two years the court has not framed the charges against the accused. One by one all the accused are out on bail, threatening the family. A false case of cow slaughter against the deceased and his family members was filed in a private complaint by the accused in a local court. This has become the pretext to run a vile campaign against Iqlakh's family to protect the accused. His brother Jan Muhammad has faced many threats and has had to abandon the family house. In spite of repeated pleas to the administration, the house was not protected, the locks were broken and the apprehension is that the accused who have had full access to the house, could have planted evidence to help the false case against the family.

This is to request you to ensure that the murder case is expedited, the false case against the family withdrawn and Danish, the son who was sitting for competitive exams but could not do so because of his serious injuries which required brain surgery, should be given government employment.

5. The fifth case we draw your attention to happened in the heart of the Capital on April 24th  this year. A truck with buffalos was stopped by gangs in three cars near the Kalkaji Mandir. They were badly beaten. An FIR number 0166 dated April 23, 2017 was filed by Rizwan, the driver of the vehicle. Two of the car numbers were also identified by the victims, but shockingly the accused have not been arrested.

Since the Delhi police are directly under your ministry, we request you to take direct action and ensure the accused are arrested.

In addition, we urge you to direct home ministry officials to collect information about the cases of cow related violence from states which include Haryana, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and even Delhi. There is a pattern in the violence which indicates that these are not spontaneous cases of "mob violence" but behind each of these cases are organised groups of so-called gau rakshaks owing allegiance to a particular brand of Hindutva ideology. In almost all these cases, the accused if and when arrested are easily given bail; charges are not framed even after months if not years; on the contrary in most cases victims or their families are faced with false cases; compensation is not given in many of the cases; there is a soft approach in most cases from the government towards the accused. Our request is to monitor and follow up on each of these aspects so as to bring justice to the victims and also to send a strong message to ensure prevention of such crimes.

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