Horrific Lynching in India a Planned Uptick in Hindu Supremacist Violence: IAMC

Mohammad Akhlaq (C) was beaten to death with bricks and the grieving family members

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Washington, DC –Americans of Indian origin reacted with strong condemnation on the recent episode of anti-minority violence in India, in the form of a mob lynching of a Muslim man and his son in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, over mere suspicion of having eaten beef.

Condemning the latest reports, the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) said, “Although the incident was made to appear like a spontaneous act of violence by an unruly crowd, there are strong indications that this was a planned act, intended to terrorize the Muslim population of the district and suppress dissent across India over the beef ban implemented in some states.”

According to IAMC statement citing news reports, “The son of a local politician from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) instigated the mob of over 200 people, to attack Mohammad Akhlaq and his son. They beat Akhlaq to death, while his 22 year-old son Danish was injured and is in critical condition. Another son of Mohammed Akhlaq is a serving corporal in the Indian Air Force.”

The fact that this has happened in Uttar Pradesh, ruled by the Samajwadi Party (SP), is not a coincidence, argued IAMC. The Sahay Committee, constituted to investigate the anti-Muslim pogrom in Muzaffarnagar in 2013, found both SP and BJP responsible for the mass violence that claimed over a 100 lives and resulted in the displacement of over 50,000 people.

“Both the BJP, as well as (Indian) Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi bear responsibility for the poison being spread through a twisted form of cultural nationalism,” said Umar Malick, President of IAMC. “It involves the PM wooing global audiences over promises of development, while giving a free hand to Hindu militias to terrorize and uproot hapless minorities,” added Malick.

Indian Prime Minister Modi is a Hindu nationalist who, as chief minister of Gujarat state, presided during sanguinary religious riots in 2002 in which thousands people, mostly Muslims — were killed. For nearly a decade afterwards, Modi was denied a visa to visit the US because of his role in the riots. Since his party BJP came to power, he as the prime minister of India, has already visited the US twice in less than a year.

In spite of efforts by the BJP and other Sangh-affiliated organizations seeking to make beef a deeply contentious issue across India, IAMC noted, “India ranks 5th in the world in beef production, 7th in domestic consumption, and 1st in exporting. In 2014 India surpassed Brazil as the world’s top beef exporter.”

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