According to a report published on The Wire, some Muslim families are planning to leave their homes for fear being targeted, and even killed, by the Hindutva bullies on false accusation of selling meat.
NEW DELHI – Ever since Uttar Pradesh government banned meat sale in Mathura, Muslim localities in the holy city have become a happy hunting ground for rightwing Hindutva activists. They come in large numbers and randomly target individual Muslims for harassment with the allegation of selling meat.
Who has given the saffron gangs the powers which are the preserve of the police? Nobody seems to have an answer to this question.
According to a report published on The Wire, some Muslim families are planning to leave their homes for fear of being targeted, and even killed, by the Hindutva bullies on false accusation of selling meat.
On Sunday, a brutal assault on a Muslim driver by cow vigilantes on the false charge of transporting beef has come into limelight. The incident has evoked massive outrage, both online and offline. The key accused in the case are members of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) – Vikas Sharma and Balram Thakur.
Shakir Hussain, treasurer of the All India Backward and Minority Communities’ Employees Federation, confirmed that since July 2021 when Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath banned the meat and liquor in the district, Hindutva mobs are targeting Muslims on the basis of false accusations of selling meat.
“These Bajrang Dal men,” he was quoted by The Wire as saying, “arrive in groups of 20-25, and without any evidence accuse us of slaughtering cows.”
“If you (the activists) have suspicion, go to the police and file a complaint! Who has given you the right to take over the police powers,” he asks.
A resident of Manoharpur, Mathura, Hussain said going by the way the gangs are conducting themselves it seems they enjoy total impunity to unleash violence on Muslims in the name of cow.
“Since July 2021, such incidents (assaults in the name of cow protection) are adversely affecting Muslims, almost exclusively, in Mathura. The state is being run on Hindu dogmas, and not the constitution,” he said.
Referring to the woes of the farmers due to the stray cattle menace, Hussain said “If they care concerned about the cows so much, why don’t they take care of the stray cows eating filth and dying in the dirt?” Hussain asked.
Samina Banu, whose husband faced harassment at the hands of a Hindutva mob on 6 March, fled her house and went to live at a relative’s place fearing further harassment.
“They torment Muslims across India. If we had not run away, they could’ve killed us and no one would’ve come to our rescue,” Banu said.
She said her husband was actually unemployed. Others too are feeling unsafe in the areas. Now that Yogi has been elected as CM for the second time, our insecurity persists.
A meat seller said, on the condition of anonymity, the meat ban had rendered him penniless.
“We are left with no money. While banning meat sales, why did they not give us jobs to sustain ourselves? I used to earn Rs 2,000 daily. Now, I fill my pocket with the Rs 200 I earn on a good day as a daily wager,” he lamented.
He disclosed that illegal sale of meat and liquor is flourishing in Mathura market despite the ban.
Accusing the saffron fraternity of double standards, he said, “They (the Hindutva activists) call Mathura the janmabhoomi (birthplace) of Krishna, yet don’t hesitate to disrespect the land themselves. But they make it a point to put the blame squarely on the Muslims.”