Abdul Bari Masoud | Caravan Daily
NEW DELHI — Bhoomi Adhikar Andolan (BBA), a joint platform of more than 12 workers and peasants’ organization on Wednesday staged a protest dharna at Jantar Mantar near the Parliament House here demanding justice to the victims of Alwar lynching of a dairy farmer Pehlu Khan by self proclaimed ‘gau rakshaks’ (cow vigilantes) and a compensation of Rs one crore to the bereaved family of Pehlu Khan and Rs. 25 lakhs each to the other victims. It also pitched for a high level enquiry under the supervision of the Supreme Court to unearth the conspiracy of RSS to create communal unrest on the issue of cow slaughter.
Leaders belonging to different political parties including Brinda Karat (CPM), D Raja (CPI), K C Tiyagi (Janata Dal (U) Dipankar Bhattacharya (CPI-ML), Prof K Dwivedi (NCP) and others blasted the BJP governments of Rajasthan and Haryana for not arresting the culprits of this heinous murder and not announcing any compensation to the victims. They also attacked the Narendra Modi Government for equating the victims with the culprits and failing miserably to ensure justice delivered to the victims on such a sensitive issue.
On the occasion, a check of Rs 3 lakh was presented to Angoori Begum, the mother of slain Phelu Khan and a check of Rs 50,000 to the brother of Azmat Khan who sustained grievous injuries in the attack of the cow-vigilantes at Alwar on April 1.
Hanan Molla, a former MP and general secretary of BBA, said the money given to the victims was collected from the people and we will arrange more money for them. Describing the Gau rakashks as Gau raakshash (devils), he told Caravan Daily that ‘we have launched our movement from grassroots to raise voice against the cow politics that is slowly poisoning the society with communal hatred and intolerance with the aim of dividing the people for narrow political and electoral benefits. We first went to Alwar where the incident happened and staged a protest there, we also met the Police official and demanded arrest of real perpetrators of this heinous crime,” he said.
In his dying statement, Phelu Khan had identified the names of culprits but police did not arrest any of the six real culprits, said Mollah, a five time CPM MP from West Bengal.
“We have also held protest demonstration in Phelu Khan’s home village in Jaisinghpura and other parts of Mewat district to mobilize people against communal forces and to spread the message of peace and communal harmony and will continue it across the country,” he said.
At the protest rally, agitating leaders called upon the national leadership of all Left and democratic forces to extend solidarity to the struggle to ensure justice to the victims in order to protect the unity of the people and the country. They warned that if justice is not delivered to the victims of Alwar incident then the country may face severe consequences of losing democratic and civil rights of the people.
They said that RSS affiliates are consistently unleashing violence by raking up sensitive issues like ban on cow slaughter and beef eating especially after Narendra Modi assumed power.
The murder of Muhammad Akhlaque in Dadri (UP) and lynching of two persons including a child to death and hanging them on way side tree near Hazaribagh (Jharkhand), killing of a truck driver in Jammu, Dingarheri in Mewat (Haryana) as well as attacks on Dalits in Una ( Gujarat) and elsewhere are few incidents in the past to recall.
Molla said BAA considers the cattle protection not as an issue of religious belief or of Hindu-Muslim or Hindu-Dalit conflict but an agrarian issue having severe implication on peasant economy as 26 percent of the agrarian GDP is from animal husbandry. He said the recent legislations by some BJP-ruled for so called ‘cow protection’ are an infringement on rights of the peasantry on cattle trade.
The Bhumi Adhikar Aandolan demanded at the rally:
1 Rajasthan government must provide Rs. one crore as compensation to the bereaved family of Pehlu Khan and Rs. 25 lakh each to the other victims, taking the responsibility of the incident and to ensure civil and democratic rights and to give a strong message to the anti national elements which are trying to disrupt communal harmony.
2 The Haryana government must ensure immediate and free medical treatment to all the victims.
3 The state government must provide government job to one family member of Pehlu Khan.
4 Immediate arrest of all culprits and ensure stringent punishment and withdrawal of false cases against victims.
5 A special investigation team under direct supervision of Supreme Court be assigned to ensure impartial investigation to the crime and role of the police.
6 Ensure farmers right to cattle trade and reopen all cattle markets immediately which had been closed down by the concerned state governments.
7 Make provisions in the Cattle Protection Law to obligate state governments to purchase unproductive cattle providing market rate to farmers.
8 Protect the crops from stray cattle’s by incorporating clauses in the law to obligate state Governments to preserve all stray cattle in shelters ensuring sufficient fodder, water and veterinary care.
Besides mother of Phelu Khan and his wife and other victim’s relatives, the rally was attended by a large number of farmers from UP, Mewat, Rajasthan and other parts of the country.