Jai Shri Ram’ Mob Carries Business As Usual, Expands Its Target Beyond Muslims

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India Tomorrow

New Delhi, May 29—There has been an ugly spike in hate crimes across the country since the verdict of the Lok Sabha elections declared on May 23 catapulted Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) back to power, with further absolute majority. However, it seems that the lynch mob has interpreted this mandate as a license to carry on its business as usual, with some innovations.

Since the eve of the election results, apart from Muslims, the latest targets of hate crimes have been non-Muslims too, which clearly indicates that the Hindutva footsoldiers are hellbent on proving that they could venture beyond Muslims in their quest to establish a reign of terror in the country, of course, with little patronization from the their parent organizations.

Among the two latest incidents of attacks on non-Muslims by right-wing elements, a Latvian national, Gemitirs, was attacked by a local youth in the Govardhan area of Mathura district (Uttar Pradesh) on Tuesday and received knife injuries on his neck for refusing to reply to “Ram Ram” greeting. The victim, who did not receive serious injuries, was later admitted to the community health center and the attacker, identified as Rishi, was reportedly arrested. The incident happened when Gemitris was praying at Radhakunda.

The police later said, that the lone attacker, named Rishi, first addressed him with the greeting “Ram Ram”, to which he did not get a response from the Latvian, so he ran his knife on neck. According to Sabrang India, Gemitris is on the tour of India and sings hymns on the Khajoor Ghat of Radhakunda.

In other incident, on May 26, eminent gynaecologist and noted author Dr. Arun Gadre was reportedly harassed by a hate mob in New Delhi’s Connaught Place area and forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’.

According to senior journalist Anant Bagaitkar to whom Dr. Gadre narrated the incident later, “He was staying at the YMCA near Jantar Mantar as he was due to deliver a lecture organized by Indian Medical Association at Bijnor the next day. When he left for his morning stroll, he was accosted by a gang of five-six youth near the Hanuman Temple in Connaught Place. They surrounded him, asked him what his religion was and finally demanded that he chant “Jai Shri Ram,” reported The Hindu. Gadre, who recently had a bypass surgery, was reportedly “shocked and scared”. He chanted the slogan but the goons insisted on him chanting the same very loudly, the doctor ran from there out of fear. He did not file a police complaint.

Many citizens had taken to social media to criticize the attack. “Now they are not sparing even doctors and other respected citizens,” one user had written. Another social media had tagged Aam Aadmi Party page while questioning, “Will such incidences become norm in Delhi too?”

Fresh incidents of hate crimes against Muslims have taken place since BJP emerged victorious in the general election results announced last week. Here is a list.

Hate Crimes against Muslims After Lok Sabha Elections 2019:

On May 22, 2019, a Muslim couple and their Hindu friend were assaulted by a gang of self-styled cow vigilantes and forced to chant Jai Shri Ram for allegedly carrying beef in Seoni, Madhya Pradesh. Three were arrested by the police on the same day. After a video of the assault went viral on social media, the police arrested the five attackers.

On May 25, Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the nation that minorities were kept in fear for electoral gains for decades and asked his NDA parties to win their trust, a Muslim youth was reportedly assaulted in Gurugram in BJP-ruled Haryana, hardly couple of hours drive from the national capital. The Muslim youth, identified as Mohammad Barkat, 25, was not only thrashed when he was returning from Travih, special night prayers in Ramazan, but was also asked by the goons to remove his skullcap and chant Jai Shri Ram.

On May 25, three self-styled “gau rakshaks” entered a dairy owned by a Muslim in Gokul Nagar area of Raipur (Chhattisgarh) and accusing the people in the shop of cow slaughter and the sale of beef, assaulted them and vandalised the shop. The three attackers were arrested by the police. A group of 50 people came out on the street next day demanding ‘equal’ action against Usman Qureshi, the complainant and the dairy shop owner.

On May 26, a young man identified as Mohammad Qasim was reportedly shot at in Begusarai (Bihar). The attacker identified as Rajiv Yadav first asked his name and then opened fire at him saying he should live in Pakistan. The incident took place in Kumbhi village under Cheria-Bariyarpur police station of the district.

Ironically, these attacks have taken place despite PM Modi’s speech on May 25 at the Central Hall of the Parliament, in which he had said that minorities of this country have been cheated and misled by various political parties for electoral gains and BJP should win the trust of the community.

“Unfortunately, minorities of this country have been kept in fear, used in elections. We have to end this cycle,” Modi said, calling for winning the trust and confidence of minorities.

“Minorities have been made to live in the illusion of fear, the way the poor have been cheated, the minorities have been deceived the same way. It would have been good if their education, their health had been taken care of. In 2019, I expect you to punch a hole in that deception. We have to earn their trust,” PM Modi had said.

However, PM Modi had received sharp criticism over his speech from various political leaders. All India Majlise-e Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi had asked the newly elected BJP government and PM Modi to first prove what he said by acting upon it.

“If Prime Minister seriously believes that minorities live in fear then will he stop all mob-lynching gangs who in the name of cow killing, lynch Muslims, beat them, take out their videos and demean Muslims. What happened in Madhya Pradesh is an example,” Owaisi had said while slamming PM’s address.

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