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India: Dalit family brutally beaten up for refusing to convert to Islam, Dalit leader maintains silence

Wednesday 24 January 2018, by siawi3

Source: http://www.opindia.com/2018/01/dalit-family-brutal-beaten-up-for-refusing-to-convert-to-islam-jignesh-mevani-maintains-silence/

Dalit family brutally beaten up for refusing to convert to Islam, Jignesh Mevani maintains silence

January 23, 2018

A Dalit family living in the Mohlaka village of the Nagina Khand region in Mewat Haryana, has alleged that it was brutally attacked by the village goons for refusing to convert to Islam. As per reports, casteist slurs were also hurled at the family. Based on complaint by the family, a case has been registered against five accused in the Nagina police station.

This village in question is populated by about 3000 people. Out of these seven families belong to the Dalits and the rest are Muslims.

The complainant named Kishan has claimed that a villager named Islam was pressurising them to convert their religion. Thus last Monday, at about 6 AM, Islam, Taufeeq, Mosim, Ataru and Asmina attacked the Dalit family using sticks and iron rods. Kishan as a result of this attack suffered grave injuries.

As per Kishan, he lives in a house which was allotted to him for being below the poverty line. The accused named Islam had illegally occupied a nearby plot and used to threaten Kishan’s family that if they wished to live in the colony, they have to convert to Islam. The accused Islam, was also declared absconding in another matter and was also believed to be in possession of an illegal weapon.

A local report claimed that such forced conversions have happened earlier in the village. So much so that, a family was tortured to such an extent that it decided to flee the area. It has also been alleged that the girls belonging to these families are regularly harassed.

After the matter was highlighted, the members of the Mehrishi Valmiki foundation met the Dalit family with regards to the matter. The family as a result narrated the incident and even pleaded for justice. It also alleged that the police was trying to hush up the matter. Also in light of this matter, the family pleaded that they be provided adequate protection.

The foundation’s members as a result assured that the matter won’t be hushed up, and they would meet the Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes. They also claimed that letters would be written to President Kovind and PM Modi regarding this matter.

With such a serious matter of atrocities against Dalits coming from a region near the national capital, many wondered why some leaders are keeping quiet over the issue. People on social media especially questioned Dalit leader and now Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani, who otherwise has been very vocal about any such incident:

Mevani’s silence, who is otherwise vocal about any attack on Dalit anywhere, comes at a time when his aide Hardik Patel was seen supporting an extremist who declared choosing Quran over Constitution of India.

This silence by Mevai also raised the question whether, he is quiet so as to try and not destabilise the ‘Dalit-Muslim unity’ narrative?

Incidentally the Mewat region of Haryana, which has seen this incident, was also in the news, after two teachers in a local residential school were accused of forcing Hindu students to offer namaz, and had also allegedly forced them to convert to Islam.