NEW DELHI – It has been just over four days since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s landslide victory, and he is set to take oath this week to begin his second term. Since then, at least six incidents of violence against people from marginalised communities have been reported from across the country.
These cases of violence against Muslims and Dalits have been taking place even as the Prime Minister, in a televised speech to his newly elected MPs, said, “Our mantra should be ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas aur sabka vishwas’ (with all, for everybody’s development and having everyone’s trust).”
“We have to break through this deception. We have to win their (minorities’) trust… It is a big responsibility that we have to fulfil. Those who vote us are ours and even our most trenchant opponents are ours. We cannot believe in any discrimination,” Modi said.
This time, the NDA is more powerful than it was in 2014, having won 352 seats, The BJP won 303 seats on its own.
During the tenure of the first Modi government, multiple people had been lynched on suspicion of cow slaughter with names such as Mohammad Akhlaq, Junaid Khan and Pehlu Khan serving as a reminder of the horrors of right-wing extremism. While reports of such crimes had reduced before and during the Lok Sabha polls, there is once again a spurt in them.
Here are the incidents that took place in the last few days.
Man shot at in Begusarai because of his Muslim name, asked to go to Pakistan
According to reports, a man named Mohd. Qasim, a hawker, was shot at in Begusarai district on Sunday morning after being asked his name. A video of Qasim describing the incident has gone viral.
Qasim says that a man called Rajiv Yadav shot at him and told him “you should go to Pakistan.”
Begusarai Superintendent of Police Awakash Kumar told The Hindu, “Yes, Mohd. Qasim has lodged an FIR in the incident at local Cheria-Bariarpur police station and has also named one person in the FIR…we are conducting raid to arrest him but he is at large.”
BJP’s Giriraj Singh defeated Kanhaiya Kumar to become the MP from Begusarai.
Gurugram man beaten for wearing skull cap
A 25-year-old Mohamad Barker Alam — a native of Bihar, living in the Jakob Pura area of Gurgaon.— was allegedly assaulted in Gurugram by four unidentified people for wearing a skull cap.
In a complaint to police on Sunday, Alam alleged that four unidentified youths accosted him and objected to him for wearing a skull cap. “The accused threatened me, saying wearing cap was not allowed in the area. They removed my cap and slapped me, while asking me to chant Bharat Mata ki Jai,” he said in the FIR, registered at the city police station. “As I followed their instruction and chanted Bharat Mata ki Jai, they asked me to chant Jai Sri Ram which I refused. At this, the youths picked up a baton from the roadside and began beating me. They hit me on my legs and back,” he added.
Gau Rakshaks vandalise dairy in Raipur
The Indian Express reported that gau rakshaks vandalised a dairy in the Gokul Nagar area of Raipur in Chhattisgarh, accusing the shop owners of selling beef.
While three people have been arrested in connection with the incident, members of Bajrang Dal reportedly raised slogans near the DD Nagar police station demanding a cross-FIR against the Muslim owners of the dairy.
Adivasi professor arrested for Facebook post on right to eat beef two years after FIR
Jeetrai Hansda, a professor at the Government School and College for Women, in Jharkhand’s Sakchi was arrested on Saturday for a Facebook post he had written on the right to eat beef two years ago. An FIR was registered against Hansda in June 2017.
A lawyer from the team handling Hansda’s case told HuffPost India that the arrest came after the 2019 Lok Sabha polls probably because the BJP did not want to anger the Adivasis and lose their votes before the polls.
Men beaten in MP’s Seoni on suspicion of carrying beef
A group of five gau rakshaks beat up two men with sticks and forced one of the victims to thrash a woman accompanying them with chappals on suspicion of carrying beef. The video of the incident, which went viral, showed the perpetrators beating them mercilessly and forcing them to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’. Reports say one of the accused, Shubham Baghel, was a ‘Ram Sena’ activist.
While there is no proof yet that the men were carrying beef, the police have arrested not only the cow vigilantes, but the victims of the assault as well.
The police told PTI that the three persons who were beaten up were arrested on 22 May as possession, transportation or sale of beef is illegal in Madhya Pradesh. They have sent the meat for testing to ascertain whether it is actually beef.
Madhya Pradesh is ruled by the Kamal Nath-led Congress government.
Dalit couple attacked in Vadodara
The home of a Dalit couple was attacked by a mob of 200-300 people from dominant castes after the husband had put up a Facebook post saying the government does not permit the village temple to be used for Dalit weddings.
The Indian Express reported that the woman, Tarulataben Mackwana, told the police that people had turned up with sticks and pipes, and she was also slapped when she stepped out of her home. They also thrashed her husband Pravin Mackwana.