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India: PUCL Maharashtra statement condemning the rising communal hate & its condonation by the government

Sunday 28 July 2019, by siawi3


India: PUCL Maharashtra statement of 26 July 2019 condemning the rising communal hate & its condonation by the government


Maharashtra State Unit
Ad Hoc Committee
Convenor: Mihir Desai; Members: Sandhya Gokhale, Rajni Bakshi, Sitaram Shelar, Dolphy D’souza, Alex D’mello, Lara Jesani
Email: pucl.maharashtra

Date: 26.07.2019
PUCL Maharashtra Statement condemning the rising communal hate and its condonation by the government

PUCL Maharashtra strongly condemns the increasing instances of communal hate crimes across the country. These incidents are a direct result of the encouragement, tacit support and impunity granted to the perpetrators by the NDA government and its ministers.

Following the results of the general elections on 23rdMay 2019, which was mired by an election campaign driven by communal hate speech, several such incidents of hate crimes have taken place in the state of Maharashtra. The latest three such incidents being -
· On 19thJuly 2019, Imran Ismail Patel, a Muslim man working as a hotel employee, was accosted by ten goons in Begumpura area of Aurangabad city when he was returning from work on his motorcycle, and thrashed and forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram†thrice. It is only because of the intervention of a Hindu couple who heard his cries and rushed out to save him, that the goons handed over the keys of the motorcycle and left him[1].
· On the night of 21stJuly 2019, in Azad Chowk, Aurangabad, 2 Muslim men were intercepted by 4-5 goons in a car, who abused their religious identity and threatened to kill them if they refused to chant “Jai Shri Ram†[2].
· On 22ndJune 2019, a 25 year old Ola cab driver, Faisal Usman Khan, hailing from Mumbra, was beaten up and forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram†by a group of 3 men at Diva in Thane[3].

These incidents in Maharashtra follow a growing trend across the country of attacks by right wing goons on Muslims while forcing them to chant “Jai Shri Ram†, which has slowly become a symbol of religious dominance and Hindu supremacy used to perpetuate these crimes. On 17thJune 2019, a Muslim man named Tabrez Ansari died in Jharkhand’s Seraikela Kharsawan district, pursuant to being beaten up by a murderous mob that forced Ansari to chant “Jai Shri Ram†and “Jai Hanuman†. Meanwhile on the same day being the first day the 17thLok Sabha convened, members of the ruling BJP celebrated their victory by heckling members of the Opposition, especially Mulsims, with the slogan “Jai Shri Ram†[4]. The bigotry, hate and intolerance promoted by the right wing ruling party at the Centre and its ministers is corroding the secular fabric and ethos of tolerance and pluralism enshrined in the Constitution. It is the influence of this politics of hate that can be seen in the changing public sentiment.

The lack of action taken by the government against the perpetrators of these hate crimes has bolstered and encouraged right wing goons to take law in their own hands and become lynch mobs dispensing their own brand of justice to those they consider “other†, being Muslims, Dalits, Christians and even the poor. In response to the opposition’s charge that the incidents of mob lynching were targeted at Muslims and Dalits, in its statement on 24thJuly 2019, the government refused to acknowledge the clear pattern emerging from all these incidents[5]. Even while the Supreme Court of India passed its judgment with detailed directions to prevent, remedy and take punitive steps to curb mob lynchings a year back, including the formulation of law to prevent mob lynchings, the same has not been implemented by the states till date. Contempt petition has been filed in respect of the non implementation, however the Supreme Court declined the application for early hearing and the matter is still pending. Meanwhile daily instances of mob lynchings and ghastly hate crimes are being reported from across the country.

PUCL Maharashtra is greatly concerned by these communal attacks on the Constitution and rule of law and strongly condemns the increasing hate crimes.

PUCL Maharashtra demands that the Central Government issue strong statement of condemnation and directions to the law enforcement to take strict action against the perpetrators of these hate crimes. Strict and deterrent action needs to be taken against all those guilty of instigating, promoting and participating in hate crimes and mob violence in the country. It is further pertinent that there is strict implementation of hate speech laws and the police administration is strengthened to prevent hate crimes and to protect the rule of law.

PUCL Maharashtra demands that the police authorities and civil administration conduct speedy investigation into each of these grave crimes and prosecute the perpetrators under law, with strict diligence, to ensure justice to the victims and survivors. It is the duty of the state and police to ensure that rule of law is restored and justice is delivered without fear of reprisals and intimidation, and without political pressure and influence of the powerful perpetrators who serve as vigilantes in such crimes.

PUCL demands the immediate implementation of the judgment passed by the Supreme Court of India to curb mob lynchings, and concerted action by the government to restore the secular fabric of the nation and respect for the law.

Mihir Desai,
Convenor, Ad-Hoc Committee,
People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Maharashtra

People’s Union for Civil Liberties, National Office
270-A, Patpar Ganj, Opposite Anand Lok Apartments, Mayur Vihar I, Delhi 110 091