Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s far right Hindutva party Bharatiya Janatha Party (BJP) secured a second term with brute majority violence against Muslims and Dalits have erupted in many parts of India.
Three Muslims thrashed over suspicion of carrying beef in Madhya Pradesh
In a brutal incident in Madhya Pradesh’s Seoni on May 22, self-proclaimed cow vigilantes allegedly thrashed three Muslims, including a woman, over ‘suspicion’ that they were carrying beef. The victims alleged that they were forced to shout ‘Jai Shree Ram’ slogans. The incident came to light after a video went viral on May 23, the day of election results, where the accused are seen beating the youth with sticks. The accused held the victims to a tree one by one and thrashed them while the people looked on.
Muslim man beaten up asked to shout “Jai Shri Ram”
A Muslim man was beaten by a group of men at Jacubpura in Gurugram in Haryana state on May 25 night after he was told to remove his skullcap and chant Jai Shri Ram. No arrests have been made so far.
Mohammad Barkat, 25, was returning to his shop around 10 p.m. on Saturday after offering prayers at Jama Masjid in Gurugram when a group of about half a dozen men allegedly accosted him outside a sweet shop and told him to remove his skull cap. “One of the men called me with an offensive word and told me that skullcap was not allowed in this area. When I told him that I was returning from a mosque, he slapped me. He also asked me to chant Bharat Mata Ki Jai and Jai Shri Ram. When I refused, he threatened to feed me pork,” Mr. Barkat said. He had come to Gurugram earlier this month to learn tailoring.
House of a Dalit couple attacked in Vadodara
In another instance reported in Gujarat, a mob of 200-300 upper caste people allegedly attacked the house of a dalit couple in Mahuvad village in Padra taluka of Vadodara, after the husband allegedly put up a Facebook post saying that the government does not permit the village temple to be used for dalit wedding ceremonies. While the police have filed an FIR against 11 persons and the mob of unidentified persons, the person who put up the social media post has also been booked for allegedly “promoting enmity between different groups”. The complaint was initially reported on Thursday, the day of counting. On the eventful day, a dalit woman Tarulataben Mackwana, 46, complained to the Vadu police station and got an FIR registered against 11 people and a mob of 200-300 people for attacking her house, pelting stones, thrashing her husband Pravin Mackwana and threatening them over his Facebook post.
Adivasi Professor Arrested For Facebook Post On Right To Eat Beef
Jeetrai Hansda, a professor at the Government School and College for Women, Sakchi, in Jharkhand was arrested on Saturday. He was arrested on a complaint filed against him in June 2017 based on a Facebook post he had written. Hansda is a prominent Adivasi activist and theatre artist and his Facebook post asserted his community’s right to eat beef.
The FIR lodged at the Sakchi police station in Jamshedpur, stated that Hansda had written a Facebook post asserting that the adivasi community in India has had a long tradition of eating beef and ceremonial cow sacrifice. It is their democratic and cultural right to consume the meat, he said. The post also said that they oppose India’s laws on eating beef and that his community also consumes peacocks, the country’s national bird. He also expressed his unwillingness to follow Hindu customs. He was booked under sections 153 (A), 295A, 505 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for insulting religious feelings and attempts to promote enmity between groups of people.
Tragic tale of tribal doctor Dr Payal Tadvi in Mumbai who committed suicide
A 26-year-old doctor committed suicide in a government-run hostel of the BYL Nair Hospital in Mumbai central on May 22.
She had hung herself after facing harassment at the hands of three senior doctors. The police have booked three female senior docs named Hema Ahuja, Bhakti Mahere and Ankita Khandelwal for the incident. They have been suspended.
Payal Tadvi’s mother had reportedly lodged a formal complaint with the Nair hospital on May 10, and said no action was taken.
Twenty-six-year-old Payal Tadvi, was the first in her family to pursue a medical degree.
Tadvi belonged to the Adivasi Tadvi Bhil community, a scheduled tribe. Her parents and husband have alleged that she was facing harassment and casteist slurs from three senior doctors at the hospital, which pushed her to commit suicide.
The case has shaken up the medical fraternity, with doctors taking to social media demanding justice for Tadvi and strict action against the three senior doctors to set an example. “My daughter was the first woman in our community to pursue postgraduation, and the first in our family to become a doctor. She was a bright student and had worked hard to reach where she was,” her mother, Abeda Tadvi (53), said.
While Tadvi’s parents work at the zilla parishad office in Jalgaon, her elder brother, who is disabled, repairs mobile phones at home. “It was her brother’s condition that prompted her to become a doctor. When she was in Class XII, she told us she wanted to pursue medicine. Our entire family was extremely happy with her decision,” Ms. Tadvi said.
Tadvi did her MBBS from the Government Medical College in Miraj. After that, she went to Sangli for her year-long internship, and subsequently began preparing for her postgraduation in gynaecology.
“When she came to Nair Hospital for her postgraduation, she was asked to temporarily share a room with Dr. Hema Ahuja and Dr. Bhakti Mehar. The two began harassing her soon,” Tadvi’s husband, Dr. Salman Tadvi, said. “The two doctors would go to the toilet and wipe their feet on her mattress and litter it. When she would be away, they would taunt her that she was spending time with her husband,” he said.
Dr. Ahuja, Dr. Mehar, and Dr. Ankita Khandelwal have been booked for abetment to suicide and under sections of the Maharashtra Prohibition of Ragging Act and the Prevention of Atrocities Act. Tadvi had time and again spoken about the harassment to her parents and husband.
In December 2018, her mother gave a written complaint about the three doctors to the head of the department, but nothing changed. “My daughter was extremely strong. But this constant abuse eventually broke her. The three accused should be punished so that it sets an example for others who traumatise and torture students like Payal,” Ms. Tadvi said. “I hope the police arrest them soon.”
Another Muslim man ends live over NRC shame
A Muslim man, believed to be in his early 90s, ended his life in Assam on the prospect of being declared a foreigner and sent to detention centre. Ashraf Ali’s body was found from a school campus, close to his hut in Sontoli in Boko, 70 kms west of Guwahati.
Journalist Rohini Mohan took to Twitter to share a heart-wrenching story of the family’s plight. In a video shared by Mohan, Ashraf Ali’s body was seen lying on the floor as his mourning family members sat around it in the light of just a candle flame.
In a series of tweets, Mohan wrote, “Reporting in #Assam on the chaos & fear arnd the govt naming ppl foreigners, we ran into this funeral. 93-yr-old Ashrab Ali frm Salausuti, Kamrup, drank pesticide yday, after his #NRC hearing, called coz someone filed an objection against his inclusion in the citizens register.”
Reporting in #Assam on the chaos & fear arnd the govt naming ppl foreigners, we ran into this funeral. 93-yr-old Ashrab Ali frm Salausuti, Kamrup, drank pesticide yday, after his #NRC hearing, called coz someone filed an objection against his inclusion in the citizens register pic.twitter.com/y3g5fLlEZJ
— Rohini Mohan (@rohini_mohan) May 26, 2019
Ashrab Ali’s name, according to the journalist, was in the NRC draft list but someone filed an objection prompting the authorities to call his entire family for a hearing on 23 May. “The objector apparently didn’t turn up, which is common in Assam today, even though 3 lakh objections were filed,” wrote Mohan.
She added, “His son said that when the #NRC official took his biometrics, Ashrab was extremely worried this meant that he has “become a foreigner”. The citizenship of his 2 sons and daughter depends on his own.”
His son said that when the #NRC official took his biometrics, Ashrab was extremely worried this meant that he has "become a foreigner". The citizenship of his 2 sons and daughter depends on his own. pic.twitter.com/0LC9nPCvNn
— Rohini Mohan (@rohini_mohan) May 26, 2019
Ali was the 23rd Muslim to end his life over the issue till date since 2015 when the updation process started with most victims belonging to poor families.
“This list is not exhaustive. The list I’ve prepared is based on news reports and personal verification of incidents, mainly in Brahmaputra Valley. It doesn’t include such incidents, if any, from Barak Valley,” Hindustan Times reported quoting News18 journalist Abdul Kalam Azad.
Mohan quoted Ali’s family members as saying that the deceased ‘felt shame’ over the prospect of being declared a foreigner.
According to the tripartite accords signed in 1985 between All Assam Students’ Union, and Assam and central governments, those who registered themselves as Indian citizens in the state on or before August 24, 1971, will be considered the Indian nationals.
Muslim groups have raised concerns alleging that the move by the BJP government in the state and at the Centre was to harass Muslim population of the state to get them out of India in a bid to change the demography of the state.
“Gau Rakshaks” Kill Father of 5 Girls in Baderwah, Jammu
On May 15, Nayeem Ahmad Shah (52) , a local resident of Bhaderwah, was shot dead while another person was injured after they were fired upon by a group of cow vigilantes who “seemed to have laid the vigil” at Nalthi to prevent “cow smuggling”. The incident occurred between 1.30 am to 2 am, police officials and local residents said.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Doda, Shabir Ahmad Malik, said that the police have detained eight suspects. “While Nayeem had received multiple wounds after he was fired upon from a country made firearm, another one suffered minor splinter injuries. We have been able to defuse the tension by imposing curfew and restricting the protests,” Malik said.
Police officials said that all the eight people who have been detained were Hindus.
Mohammad Iqbal Khan, a relative of the victim, said that Nayeem was returning home from Kathua where he had gone to purchase horses, when he was fired upon and died instantly.
“He traded in horses and sheep and had gone to Kathua only a day before. He was not carrying any animal along when he was shot dead. He was killed by a cow vigilante group and had been harassed even earlier while he had travelled along with a flock of horses and mules,” said Khan.