In an open letter to Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on Monday, citizens’ groups demanded the state put an end to the demeaning practice of photographing people defecating in the open.
Demanding an inquiry into the construction of toilets under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the letter also calls for a high-level inquiry into the lynching of Zafar Hussein in Pratapgarh by municipal employees.
Last year in the chief minister’s home district of Jhalawar, the District Education Officer had issued a circular, the letter pointed out, directing all government school teachers to leave home every day at 5 am and take photographs of people defecating in the open and forward them to officials on WhatsApp.
Questioning the policy of photographing people in a state of undress, the letter asks the chief minister to stop similar practice all over the state.
Voicing concern at the state descending into anarchy and an increase in the incidence of mob violence, the letter lists the incidents since May 2015.
- 6 dalits were attacked and killed at Nagaur on May 14, 2015 over a land dispute.
- Abdul Ghaffar Quraishi was stoned to death by a mob of Gau Goondas on May 30, 2015 for carcasses of animals he had nothing to do with.
- In June 2016, a mob assaulted truck drivers transporting cattle in Pratapgarh and escaped with the animals legitimately owned by farmers.
- In October 2016, Gavroo Banjara and his family were assaulted while returning after buying six bullocks from an animal fair.
- In March 2017, Sadhvi Kamal Didi of the Rashtriya Mahila Gau Rakshak Samiti accused staff of Hotel Hyatt Rabbani in Jaipur of feeding beef to cows, assaulted the receptionist, got the hotel vacated and sealed. Forensic reports proved that the bones dumped were of chicken but it took 70 days before the hotel reopened. No action was taken against the Sadhvi.
- On April 1, 2017 Pehlu Khan from Nuh, Haryana, his two sons and two others were assaulted by a mob at Arwal. Khan, falsely accused of transporting cattle without valid permits, succumbed to his injuries.
- On April 24, 2017, sikh Sevadars from Alwar collecting alms in Ajmer were assaulted by a mob in the presence of police.
- On June 1, a 25-year-old young man was beaten and tortured and his nails pulled out by family members of a girl with whom he was in a relationship.
- On June 5, a 21-year-old mentally challenged youth was tied to a tree and assaulted by a mob outside a temple in Bandikui in Dausa district.
- On June 15, another video surfaced where a mentally challenged woman in Nagaur district was forced by a mob to say Jai Shriram and Jai Hanuman after beating her up with a pipe.
Calling upon the chief minister to restore rule of law, the letter points out the complicity of police and officials who have been encouraging vigilante groups believed to have the blessings of the ruling party and the Sangh Parivar.