5 Times Minorities Were Attacked In The 5 Days Since BJP Won The Lok Sabha Polls
Modi speaks of inclusion but his words don’t reflect the attitude or actions of his supporters.
In the five days since May 23, when the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party government came back to power with renewed vigour, several cases of violence and discrimination against minorities have emerged.
The BJP swept to power at the Centre with 303 seats, 21 seats more than its 2014 tally. For most BJP candidates in North and Central India, vote shares have gone up along with their margin of victory. Incidentally, the attacks have happened in these very states.
The reinstated Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) parliamentary meeting told the newly elected MPs, “The way the poor have been cheated, the minorities have been deceived the same way… We have to earn their trust.”
But the PM’s words don’t reflect the attitude or action of right-wing supporters on the streets.
Bihar: Man shot at after revealing his name, told to go to Pakistan
Mohd. Qasim, a detergent salesman, was allegedly shot by Rajiv Yadav after the latter asked his name. Yadav also told him to go live in Pakistan as he was a Muslim. The incident occurred at Kumbhi village in Begusarai district of Bihar, on Sunday morning, May 26. An FIR has been filed against Yadav, but he is still at large.
A video of Qasim (28) narrating the whole incident to a reporter has gone viral on social media. Qasim said in the video, “I was stopped by Rajiv Yadav and he asked for my name… when I told him, he fired on me, saying ‘What are you doing here? You should go to Pakistan.’”
He added, “Rajiv Yadav was drunk, and when he started loading another cartridge in his pistol, I pushed him and fled, leaving my motorcycle.”
Bystanders did not come to his rescue at first. However, when Yadav left the spot after firing in the air, villagers took the victim to the local police station, and he was then admitted to the local government hospital.
Madhya Pradesh: Attacked, humiliated, jailed over suspicion of carrying beef
A group of self-proclaimed cow-vigilantes attacked two Muslim men and a woman on Wednesday, May 22 in Seoni, Madhya Pradesh over the suspicion that they were carrying beef.
Five of the alleged attackers have been arrested but all three victims were also arrested as the possession, transportation or sale of beef is illegal in Madhya Pradesh. The victims were booked under the Madhya Pradesh Govansh Vadh Pratishedh Adhiniyam. They were produced before a local court on May 23 and sent to judicial custody.
The three Muslim youths were travelling in an auto rickshaw when they were asked to halt by five people. In a viral video, the Muslim men can be seen being pulled out and beaten with sticks. They were held against a tree and thrashed brutally.
The attackers hurled obscene slurs at the victims, as bystanders stood there recording the whole incident without coming to the victim’s aid.
The mob then forced one of the Muslim men to slap the Muslim woman with a slipper, while forcing him to say, “Jai Shri Ram”.
Haryana: Attacked for wearing a skullcap
A 25-year-old Muslim man named Mohammad Barkat was attacked by six men on Saturday, May 25, at Jacubpura in Gurugram as the Prime Minister delivered his speech about “false perception” created to make minorities live in fear. The victim arrived in Gurugram earlier in May to learn to tailor.
Barkat told The Hindu, “One of the men called me with an offensive word and told me that skullcap was not allowed in this area.”
When Barkat explained that he was returning after offering prayers at a nearby Mosque, the explanation didn’t appease the attackers, who slapped him.
Barkat told The Hindu, “He (the assailant) also asked me to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and ‘Jai Shri Ram’. When I refused, he threatened to feed me pork.”
The attackers also reportedly beat Barkat with a stick and tore his shirt
The men left Barkat only when he broke down and started crying. Four drove away in a motorcycle, and two just walked away into one of the alleys.
Gujarat: Dalit couple attacked by Mob for exposing that village temple does not allow Dalit weddings:
A Dalit couple — Tarulataben Mackwana (46) and her husband Pravin Mackwana — were allegedly assaulted by a mob of 200-300 upper caste people at Mahuvad village in Vadodara, Gujarat on Monday, May 20 because the husband reportedly posted on Facebook that Dalit wedding ceremonies were not permitted at the village temple.
The husband has also been charged with promoting enmity between different groups through his Facebook post, along with cases being filed against 11 people and the mob.
People armed with sticks, pipes and other weapons went to Mackwana’s house on May 20 and shouted abuses at the couple and pelted rocks at their home. Tarulataben was allegedly slapped, and the mob barged into the house and dragged Pravin out and beat him up. Tarulataben said the men threatened her husband to delete the post or face the consequences.
The incident was reported to the Vadu police on Thursday, 23 May. The complaint was filed and the incident came to light only after attempts to arrive at a compromise failed between the two communities.
Jharkhand: Arrested for a 2-year-old Facebook post
Artist-activist and theatre professor Jeetrai Hansda was arrested on May 25, in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, for a two-year-old Facebook post defending the right of Adivasis to eat beef. Hansda belongs to the Santhali tribal community himself.
Hansda wrote in the 2017 Facebook post, “If you (Centre) really consider Adivasis to be a part of India, then protect their rights and stop making (cow slaughter) laws such as these.”
While he wasn’t arrested at the time of filing of the FIR on June 2, 2017, a non-bailable warrant was ordered against Hansda in June 2018. His application for anticipatory bail, however, was rejected back then.
Huffington Post reported that Hansda’s lawyer suspects that he was arrested after the 2019 elections so that the BJP would not lose the support of Adivasi voters in the region.