July 02, 2017

India: Invitation to Join a Mashal Juloos in Kolkata Against Communal Hate Crime (Calcutta, 4 July, 2017)

Young Bengal (নয়া বাংলা) INVITES ALL CITIZENS
To Join a Mashal Juloos in Kolkata
Communal Hate Crimes
From Beleghata CIT More to Gandhi Bhavan (Haideri Manzil)
Tuesday, 4th July, 2017
Assemble at Beleghata Post Office [Calcutta]
Time: 6PM

  • Stop Communal Hate Crimes, Uphold Peace and Amity
  • Ban all Cow-vigilante Terrorist groups
  • Enact Central and State level laws to deal with Mob Lynching
Dear Friends,
Our country is witnessing escalating incidents of barbaric violence against Muslims and Dalits on the pretext of cow protection. Since May 2014, there have been 62 incidents of cow-terrorism in which 28 people have lost their lives and 124 have been injured. Out of the 28 people killed, 24 belong to the Muslim community. These killings, starting with that of Md. Akhlaque at Dadri in September 2015 to the lynching and stabbing of Junaid Khan on 23rd June 2017 in a local train compartment, are not just attacks on individuals but also constitute brazen assaults on the constitutionally enshrined values of secular democracy in India.
Most of the incidents of cow-terrorism are happening in the BJP-ruled states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. These are not spontaneous but pre-planned acts of violence. This terror is being perpetrated by the RSS-VHP-Bajrang Dal and the Gauraksha groups that they have created. These communal outfits are enjoying a sense of immunity under the regime headed by Narendra Modi, who himself has suffered no legal consequences for presiding over the pogrom against Muslims in Gujarat in 2002.
After Junaid Khan’s murder in Haryana, Usman Ansari of Giridih, Jharkhand was attacked by more than 100 goons on the basis of a rumour of cow slaughter. Mr. Ansari has been admitted to a Dhanbad Hospital in a critical condition. Again, on 29th June, as the PM spared a few words about the violence while visiting the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, Alimuddin Ansari was lynched in Ramgarh, Jharkhand on the charge of carrying beef. Modi, while serving only platitudes has not expressed any explicit condolence for the victims of cow terrorism, nor met their surviving family members. There has been no commitment from the PM to ensuring justice for the victims and punishing the cow-terrorists.
While on the one hand the RSS is organizing cow-terrorism in BJP ruled states, in West Bengal too, there have been incidents of mob lynching in the recent past. On 22nd June at Chopra in North Dinajpur, 3 people suspected of being cow-thieves were lynched to death. On 27th June at Sekendra village in Murshidabad a mentally ill woman was lynched to death on the suspicion of being a child kidnapper. In Srinagar, Kashmir, the lynching of a police officer in front of the Jama Masjid on 23rd June is no less tragic and condemnable. All these episodes of lynching reflect the creeping grip of hate and violence on our society.
In these difficult times, the only option in front of us is to build a stronger democratic resistance to the politics of hate. It is with that aim that we appeal to all sensible and democratic-minded people to join us for a Torchlight Procession on 4th July at 6PM. We are demanding an end to cow-terrorism and the forthwith banning of the vigilante Gauraksha Samitis. We are also demanding that the central and state governments should enact a strict law to deal with incidents of mob lynching. The Torch Light Procession will start from Beleghata Post Office and terminate at the Gandhi Bhavan (Hyderi Manzil).
It is useful to remember that in the months of August-September 1947, when Calcutta was experiencing large-scale communal riots, Gandhiji had started a hunger strike in this Hyderi Manzil, in order to restore peace and amity in the city. Under the pressure of his fast, many people renounced the path of violence. In today’s difficult times, the name of Gandhi is being invoked by his killers to whitewash their role and complicity in the politics driving the recent spate of killings, terror and hate. Let us walk together in the protest with the resolve that we will not concede even an inch of space to these communal forces in our state of West Bengal.
Deborshi Chakraborty
Prasenjit Bose
(Convenors, Young Bengal)