NEW DELHI – The tragic suicide of Mohit Yadav, a bus conductor who was suspended for allowing two Muslim passengers to offer namaz (Islamic prayer) during a brief stop, has sparked discussions about the price of being a decent human being and the challenges of combating Islamophobia.
32-year-old Yadav reportedly took his own life by jumping in front of a moving train on Monday. According to his family members, Yadav had been struggling to make ends meet ever since he lost his job at the Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) three months ago. Alongside bus driver KP Singh, he had been suspended after a video of the incident went viral on social media, showing the bus halting to accommodate passengers’ requests for a break and two individuals beginning their namaz.
“Mohit felt that he was dismissed from his job without a valid reason. The bus was stopped to allow some passengers to go to the bathroom. Meanwhile, two passengers began offering their namaz. The authorities took action solely based on a video of the incident, without seeking an explanation from either Mohit or the driver. Mohit was devastated as he couldn’t secure reinstatement,” revealed Tinku Yadav, Mohit Yadav’s cousin, as quoted by Indian Express. Tinku runs a travel agency in Mainpuri.
Rinki Yadav, Mohit’s wife, shared that her husband had spiraled into depression after losing his job. She expressed, “My husband was the breadwinner of our family. He bore significant responsibilities as the eldest member. The job loss pushed him into depression, leading him to take his own life.”
Hailing from Nagla Khushali village in Mainpuri, Mohit informed his family that he was going to meet a friend and buy goods from the market. Tragically, his lifeless body was later discovered on the railway tracks.
The news of Mohit’s suicide has evoked a plethora of reactions, with many lamenting that he paid the price for respecting others’ religious practices rather than harboring hatred towards any faith.
Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav expressed his condolences, lamenting at the scarcity of communal harmony in the nation. In a tweet in Hindi, he lamented, “Two UP Transport Corporation employees were suspended merely because they caused a minor delay in the bus due to someone’s religious prayers. Where’s the justice in this? Distressed by this harassment, one individual took his own life. A solemn tribute! In a country known for its harmony, goodwill has now been relegated. This is unfortunate, condemnable, and shameful!”
Akhilesh called upon all UP Transport employees to demand compensation for the grieving family from the government. He warned, “What happened to someone else today might befall another tomorrow.
Journalist Alishan Jafri drew a parallel between bus conductor Mohit Yadav and cow vigilante Mohit Yadav. He highlighted the tragic fate that befell the bus conductor for allowing passengers to offer namaz, while another Mohit Yadav, also known as Monu Manesar, is shielded despite facing murder accusations.
Jafri remarked, “Many of us hope that ordinary people will stand up against hate, even in the face of dire personal consequences. However, when an ordinary Mohit Yadav takes a stand, he is brutally attacked and succumbs to this assault. It’s shameful that his death hasn’t become a national conversation.”
Meanwhile, UP Roadways Minister Dayashankar Singh made an unusual claim regarding Mohit Yadav’s death, suggesting that Yadav had taken his own life due to drug addiction.