Palghar Mob Lynching: Activists Flay BJP’s Double Standards

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Mob lynching. (IANS Infographics)

Waquar Hasan | Clarion India

NEW DELHI – Reacting to the lynching of three persons in Maharashtra’s Palghar, civil rights activists, on Monday, raised questions over the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) double standards.

On 16 April, three men travelling from Mumbai to Silvass were lynched by Aadivasi villagers on suspicion of child lifting. Three days after the incident, Hindutva activists and the BJP leaders raised the issue saying the deceased were lynched because they were Hindus.

The deceased are Kalpvrush Giri, 70, Sushil Giri, 35, and Nilesh Telgade. Some of them were in saffron robes. Therefore, they were called Hindu Sadhus. However, according to The Wire’s report, the two people who were in saffron robes, in fact, belonged to a nomadic tribe.

But human rights activists raised questions over BJP’s double standards while dealing with the lynching. Earlier, the Union Minister Jayant Sinha, a member of the BJP, had garlanded eight accused of lynching in Jharkhand. Now, many senior leaders from the party came out to condemn the lynching incident of Palghar.

Condemning the Palghar lynching, eminent human rights activist Kavita Krishnan raised questions over the BJP’s silence when the victims of the lynching were Muslims.

“This is the issue. They (BJP) see the lynching incident with communal angle. When the victim of the lynching is a Muslim and if they are killed in the name of cow slaughter, they justify such incidents. And when the victim of the lynching is perceived by them as Hindu Sadhu, they are giving opposite reaction here. This shows their double-standards,” Krishnan said while speaking to Clarion India.

She said the BJP is spreading incorrect information regarding the Palghar incident. They are claiming that the victims were Hindu Sadhus who were lynched because of their religious identity. But it’s a lie. The deceased and the attackers both are from an Aadivasi community. There is no communal angle to it. But the incident is a proof to the lynching culture developed in the last six years under the Narendra Modi Government.

Kavita pointed out that the BJP people won’t speak up for other victims of lynching. But here, they are not only speaking up but also giving the incident a communal angle. It’s time Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned all the incidents of lynching unequivocally and made asserted that it can’t be acceptable at any cost.

In his reaction, United Against Hate’s Nadeem Khan, who was active in raising the issue of mob lynching, held the Modi government responsible for the incident. He said if the government itself promotes lynching culture and does not take action against the culprits, such incidents are bound to take place. The society will get emboldened and anybody irrespective of his/her religion or caste will be the victim of such vigilante justice.

DU Professor Apoorvanand called it a reflection of the culture of mob rule developed in the past six years in India. It’s the ruling establishment which, he said, has encouraged the mob rule.Now, they are making a hue and cry over this incident. But it needs to be said that no mob lynching should be called a spontaneous reaction of the mob. An effort was made to give a communal turn to this Palghar incident. But it turned out that the killers and victims belonged to the same community.

“ The problem with the the ruling party leaders is that they don’t seem to feel pain over the death of anyone. They react only when the death is politically useful to them. This is the most painful thing,” said Apoorvanand.

He said more than 100 people have been arrested in this incident. It is good and this is how such crimes need to be dealt with. Having said that it is shameful that the police present there allowed the lynching. But the swiftnss with which they have acted in this incident has not been seen in the case of other incidents where the victims belonged to Muslim community, Apoorvanand added.

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