Beef lynching incident of Junaid , killed by a Hindu mob on a train , starts #NotInMyName campaign all over world
New Delhi,June29:Protests are taking place across India against rising attacks on Muslims and Dalits (formerly untouchables) by vigilante cow protection groups.
About 2,000 people turned out in Delhi. Protests were also being held in 15 other cities as well as in London, protest organiser Saba Dewan said.
The campaign, #NotInMyName, started with a Facebook post she wrote after a Muslim teenager was killed last week.
Many Hindus consider the cow a sacred animal.
Wednesday’s protests come amid reports that a Muslim dairy farmer in Jharkhand state was assaulted and his house was set on fire after the carcass of a cow was found at his door on Tuesday afternoon.
Cow slaughter is banned in several Indian states and those found violating the law can be jailed for up to 10 years. Parliament is also considering a bill to bring in the death penalty for the crime.
But ever since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in the summer of 2014, vigilante cow protection groups have been emboldened and there have been numerous attacks on Muslims and Dalits, for whom beef is a staple.
Nearly a dozen people have been killed in these attacks over the past two years. Targets are often picked based on unsubstantiated rumours and Muslims have been attacked for even transporting cows for milk.
Crowds gathered at Jantar Mantar, a historical Delhi monument and popular venue for protests.
Many of the 2,000 present held posters and banners saying #NotInMyName. Others wondered if it is so easy to divide Indians on the basis of religion. On the stage, poets recited verses, and musicians sang songs of protest.
Organiser Saba Dewan demanded that Indian citizens be protected, saying the right to life is non-negotiable. One young woman told me the murders were not how she wished to remember her country.
The protest organisers have alleged that the family of Junaid Khan, the 16-year-old Muslim boy brutally killed by a Hindu mob on a train last week, had not been able to attend because they were intimidated by the authorities.