New Delhi (Reuters) – Protests in Indian cities on Wednesday after lynching Muslim man by a Hindu mob suspected of being a thief.
The growing anger over the killings in eastern Jharkhand prompted Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make his first comment on the matter on Wednesday, telling the upper house of parliament that he heard the incident and felt “painful” and Calling “the punishment as severe as possible” against the accused.
The mobile video shared on the local TV channel shows that 24-year-old Tabrez Ansari was tied to a pole and begged for his life as some people beat him with a stick and forced him to say (Jai Shri Ram) to convert him to Hinduism.
On June 18, Ansari was captured by a group of villagers who suspected that he was a thief in the Seraikela-Kharsawan area of Jharkhand, said Avinash Kumar, deputy director of the district police station.
Kumar said 11 villagers were arrested and a special investigation team was set up to investigate the matter.
Kumar said the villagers called the police and filed a lawsuit. The police sent him to the hospital, but Ansari died in an injury during his detention four days later. The police told the local media that two police officers in the area had been suspended.
Dozens of people gathered in the capital, New Delhi, holding placards calling for justice for the killing of Ansari. In the western part of Gujarat and the eastern part of West Bengal, hundreds of people took to the streets and posted posters that “no longer lynched in the name of religion”.
Protests are planned in about 50 cities. It is not clear at what times the protests will held.
Since Modi and his Indian Nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in 2014, India’s hate crimes against ethnic minorities have soared. Since then, dozens of Muslim men have been attacked or lynched by Hindu mobs, many of whom have been beaten for allegedly slaughtering cows, which is considered sacred in Hinduism.
Two days after the killing of Ansari, a Muslim religious school teacher in Kolkata, West Bengal, claimed that when he refused to sing his dedication to the Hindu gods, was driven off a train, by some Hindus.
Many people have condemned the People’s Party’s government in Jharkhand on social media. In the past three years, civil society groups have recorded at least 13 lynchings of ethnic minorities, mainly Muslims.
The United States released an annual report on international religious freedom last week, saying that religious intolerance in India is becoming more and more serious. The extremist narrative “promoted the violence and intimidation and persistence of non-Hindu and low caste Hindu minorities. Violence.”
India refused to accept the report saying that it believes that “foreign governments have not issued a statement on the constitutional rights of our citizens.”
“Because he is a Muslim, he was so brutally beaten,” Ansari’s wife Sharita Ansari told TV channel NDTV.
“My husband is my only support. Who do I live now? I want justice.”
Cover Photo: Al Jazeera