Following the quietus of Babu Lal Bhil who was beaten to death by a mob last month in India’s state Rajasthan under suspicion of smuggling cows, Lynchistan, the so-called largest democracy of the world has again flouted the ethos of genuine democracy and constrained minorities to undergo predicament which seems to be unsolved.
Dolefully, this is not the first time that only Babu Lal has been lynched, but lynching has roots back in two decades or more. Breaching human rights laws in the shape of lynching publically is quotidian in India. But, a few cases are documented and showed on media.
Here questions arise: who enables them to perpetrate such illegal acts time and again? What do they want to garner by lynching? Why law enforcement agencies do not take action against them or if they take actions why do their investigation and action not bear the required sequel?
Read more: Is lynching the new normal in India?
Simply put, the Hindutva ideology is the main issue. This ideology is based on Hindustan- according to them entire Indo-Pak subcontinent, including countries ranging from Afghanistan to Indonesia, is the homeland of solely Hindus. Hindus are those people who believe that Hindustan is their fatherland (Pitribhumi) and Holy land (Punyabhumi).
To translate this ideology into reality, organizations were formed which were collectively named “Sangh Parivar”. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is the key player of Sangh Parivar with its 3000 full-time volunteers as frontline personnel in riots and other violent acts.
Since Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is the political wing of RSS, all lynchings are justified and endorsed by BJP lawmakers that constantly aid BJP to come in power so that Sangh Parivar can notch up its ideology of Hindutva. An Indian analysis showed that 97% of beef-related lynchings have taken place after Modi, the BJP leader, came to reign the country.
Read more: “Okay! We Won’t Eat Beef” Indian Muslims
Horrific cases of lynching in India
Apart from RSS, the Bajrang Dal or the army of Hanuman exclusively called the foot soldiers of Hindutva to be the most violent and most hazardous of all Sangh Parivar; partaking in riots, murders, public lynching, and bomb blasts.
To actualize their ideology, they have executed some following ghastly acts- which could be documented to make India, the Lynchistan, an inimical country for the minorities.
On June 18, 2018, Muhammad Qasim, 45, was beaten to death by a vigilante mob accusing him of attempting to slaughter cows. Samayadeen, 64, was nearby toiled to stop the mob, but he was beaten too. Regretfully, his death was attributed to a motorbike accident. Samayadeen’s brother told that the police did not tell them the location of the hospital where they had taken both victims to, instead police threatened to collar them under the Cattle Protection Law.
The same year on July 21, Akbar Khan, 28, was coming with his confrere Aslam Khan, from buying cows where they were attacked by a mob in Alwar district. Akbar Khan was brutally beaten. Fortunately, his confrere managed to flee. Police took 3 hours to reach the hospital which was just 20 minutes away.
Consequently, Akbar Khan was declared dead when they had arrived at the hospital. Later, the police apprehended three people, but Ghyan Dev Ahuja, a local BJP lawmaker, voiced in favor of perpetrators and demanded to release them. He also called for nabbing Aslam Khan, the only eyewitness of the case. However, the atrocity does not end here.
In 2016, Mustain Abbas, 27, was bumped off in Haryana where he had traveled to purchase cows. Also, in this case, police attempted to cover up the case by filing a smuggling case.
In the same year, a cattle trader and a 12-year-old boy were beaten to death by a vigilante group. Their bruised bodies were found hanging from a tree with their hands tied behind them.
Moreover, after seeing animal carcasses, an angry mob set fire to a police station and burned many vehicles in Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh. Two people were sent to the cemetery when they attempted to confront the mob. Rather than condemning the violence, the Chief Minister warned that illegal slaughtering, and not just cow slaughter, is banned in the entire state. There are many other cases to quote as well.
Political shelter for the criminals
Sorrowfully, in all these cases perpetrators remained scot-free. In case, some executors were jailed but they were late released on bail. As in the case of Alimuddin, 11 people were sentenced to life but were released on bail after appeal, even before the final verdict. They went to a BJP lawmaker’s house, were warmly welcomed and garlanded. Sometimes, they cover themselves with flags and they are termed heroes for doing these illegal acts. Again BJP lawmaker claimed that he had legally assisted them.
In almost all documented cases, the police initially kicked off investigations, but then ignored procedures, or were even complicit in the killings and cover-up. A retired senior police officer in Rajasthan vocalized, “Police face political pressure to sympathize with cow protectors and do a weak investigation and let them go. These vigilantes got political shelter and help.”
Most heinous is this, in Gujrat, one can get life imprisonment for slaughtering a cow, which is equal punishment for killing a man or a woman.
In one case, a senior police official told that investigators were ordered to prosecute those involved in cow slaughtering. Cow-killers were even prioritized. This depicts the hatred for minorities. Minorities are downgraded but animals are given high status.
India: Where human rights are breached with impunity
This is the sorry state of the so-called largest democracy, Lynchistan, where human rights are breached with impunity. They do not have trepidation of being brought to book because still, no Human Rights Organization has taken constructive measures to desist this human rights violation.
Additionally, in numerous cases, victim families have been frightened to pursue justice by filing complaints against family members and associates under laws banning cow slaughter. In some cases, witnesses turned antagonists because of browbeating by both authorities and the accused. The authoritarians have even utilized the National Security Act, a repressive law permitting to detain charges for up to a year against those suspects of slaughtering cows.
To encapsulate, humans have tiny esteem in comparison with animals in India which is deleterious to minorities. Cattle Protection Law is used as a tool to garner or actualize Hindutva ideology. This is working in many states of India. These are a few cases of lynching that have been documented or went on air in India. The Hindu-dominated country has concealed thousands of such cases. Minorities should be provided safe shelter which is conferred upon them under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or even under the ethos of real democracy.
The author is an advocate based in Karachi. The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.