Long list of Muslims lynched casts a cloud on Eid

A section of Muslims chose to wear a black armband on Monday as a mark of protest. A citizens’ demonstration is planned at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday evening even as people observed a subdued Eid

PTI Photo
PTI Photo

S Khurram Raza

“Akhlaq Ahmad, Pehlu Khan, Zafar Khan, Junaid… where will the list of innocent Muslims lynched by mobs and vigilante groups stop? What is happening in the country? Why are people bent upon bringing a bad name to the country,” asks a bewildered Zafar Mehmood, Chairman Zakat Foundation in obvious anguish.

A staggering number of Indians have been lynched in recent months under a variety of pretexts. While some of the cases have gone under the radar, the more prominent cases which received wide coverage in the media are as follows:

  • Mohammad Akhlaq lynched in Dadri

  • Zahid Rasool Bhatt(16) died when a bomb was hurled at the truck in which he was travelling at Udhampur

  • Mohd Majloom and Azad Khan hanged by a mob in Latehar (Jharkhand) on suspicion of being cattle smugglers

  • Abu Hanifa and Riazuddin Ali killed for allegedly stealing cattle in Assam

  • Pehlu Khan died of injuries after being attacked in Alwar on suspicion of being cattle smugglers

  • Ghulam Mohammad killed by a mob for allegedly "helping" a couple elope and marry

  • Assault on Muslim youths in Bhind, Madhya Pradesh

  • Munna Ansari attacked in Jharkhand following rumours of “child lifters" active in the area

  • Muslim policemen assaulted by a mob and forced to chant `Jai Bhawani' in Latur, Maharashtra

  • Two Muslim traders thrashed in Malegaon, Maharashtra for allegedly storing beef

  • A Muslim man attacked in Dhanbad (Jharkand) on suspicion he was carrying beef

  • Tamil Nadu animal husbandry dept officials transporting cattle in trucks attacked in Barmer (Rajasthan)

  • Zafar Husain lynched in Pratapgarh Rajasthan for trying to protect women being photographed

  • A Muslim teenager Junaid travelling in a train lynched in Haryana by the mob following suspicion that he was carrying beef for Eid

The Zakat Foundation chairman appealed to Muslims to wear black arm bands on Eid as a mark of protest against the lynching of Muslims. Talking to NH he said, “It is stated in Quran that maintaining silence following any atrocity or injustice is akin to committing the atrocity; thus, we need to raise our voice against atrocities taking place in society against Muslims.”

He confirmed that an appeal had gone out to Muslims to register a peaceful protest on Eid, possibly by putting on a black arm band.

The Imam of Jama Masjid, Ahmed Bukhari, also felt that times were grim and wondered, “How can a country be stable when its citizens are not secure”. It was the responsibility of the respective state governments to ensure law and order is maintained in the state, which is allowing the Centre to shirk its own responsibility.

“But what is happening is the result of a culture of extreme intolerance promoted by BJP leaders, particularly UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath, who is on record having said that if ‘Muslims’ killed one, ‘we’ would kill ten, during the election campaign” recalls Bukhari.

Asked if Muslims should shun celebrations on Eid as a mark of protest against the killing of Muslims on one issue or the other, Bukhari said, “There was a time when people took such calls seriously but now nobody is bothered. Now times have changed; We don’t even know now what is happening in our own neighbourhood. There was a time when if something happened in Muzaffarnagar, people would hit the streets but now the new generation is least bothered”.

He said the common Muslim on the street had already suffered a lot and now is the time for the Muslim elite to come out on the streets. And it should not be confined to only atrocities on Muslims but people must raise their voice against atrocities, whoever be the victim. “The victims could be farmers, Dalits or anyone,” he added.

Expressing concern over the situation in Kashmir, Bukhari said, “ What is happening in Kashmir is affecting Muslims in the rest of the country. The Hurriyat and so called separatist leaders of Kashmir have made common Kashmiris their hostage”.

On wearing black band on arms at Eid, he said, “this may not serve any purpose; instead of this symbolism, we the elite should come together and fight the issues”.

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Published: 26 Jun 2017, 2:04 PM