Blames Modi govt’s silence for growing lynching incidents in the country and demanded immediate arrest of those involved in the cold-blooded murder of young Junaid on a Ghaziabad-Palwal passenger train
Abdul Bari Masoud | Caravan Daily
NEW DELHI — Blaming the Modi government’s “silence” and Sangh Parivar’s “sustained toxic propaganda” for the frequent occurrence of mob-lynching incidents in the country, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Saturday demanded immediate arrest of those involved in the cold-blooded murder of young Junaid on a Ghaziabad-Palwal passenger train. Junaid’s two brothers were also grievously injured on Thursday evening.
The CPI (M) lambasted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh as well as the BJP-led Haryana government for not uttering a single word about this “barbaric incident”. They said the “studied silence” has emboldened the communal elements to attack minority members with impunity. The CPI (M) also made a strong demand for adequate compensation to the bereaved family and free treatment of Shakir and Hashim, who are battling for their lives in a Delhi hospital.
A delegation of CPI (M), which visited the bereaved family in Khandavli village of Balabhgarh Tahsil in Haryana, said the details gathered by them about the incident show that 15-year-old Mohammad Junaid was killed in cold blood by a mob for no apparent reason.
The bereaved family is still reeling under the shock of what happened on the train. Grief and gloom are palpable in the air at Khandvali village where young Junaid’s family resides which is not far away from the national capital. His mother Saira Begum, who is a religious teacher, is inconsolable finding it hard to come to terms with the tragedy that has befallen the family. Saira says she had cooked iftar and dinner for her sons, who were fasting that fateful day. All her three sons are hafiz Qur’an.
The CPI (M) delegation, comprising Polit Bureau members Brinda Karat, Mohammad Salim (MP), Surinder Malik (Haryana State Secretary), Asha Sharma (Delhi State Secretariat member), Satbir Singh and other local leaders, went to Khandavli and met the family members of Junaid, who was lynched by a communal mob on the local train two days ago.
Briefing the reporters about their visit at the Party Headquarters here in Delhi, CPI (M) Polit Bureau member and former MP Brinda Karat said this specific incident was motivated entirely by communal considerations. The question is how armed men are allowed in trains as all the initial attackers were carrying big knives, she asked.
When her attention was drawn towards the alleged lynching of Kashmir police officer in Srinagar, she said no parallel could be drawn between both the incidents, adding “equating of the incident reflects perverted minds”.
We also condemned the Srinagar incident in strongest possible terms, she added.
“The attackers incited other passengers to join them in the lynching. Clearly, if such incidents can occur in a crowded train, it is because the perpetrators are confident of political support and patronage,” she added.
Lok Sabha Member Mohammad Salim said if Prime Minister Narendra Modi soon after the lynching incident of young techie Mohsin Shaik in Pune in May 2014 had pronounced in clear terms that such incidents would not be tolerated by his government, the mob-lynching incidents would not have become order of the day.
“The studied silence of the prime minister and home minister has resulted in the brutal killing of Mohammad Akhlaque, Pehlu Khan and others,” he added.
The senior CPM leader said that was a well-thought out strategy of the RSS to keep the communal atmosphere in the country on the boil while its rumour machinery organized a mob in no time.
Slamming Haryana state Home Minister and Urban Development minister for their irresponsible statements, the CPM leader said they should have set a new precedent by arresting the perpetrators of this heinous crime.
Haryana CPM State Secretary Surinder Malik said since the BJP came to power in Haryana, the Hindutva elements have become so emboldened that they are carrying violent attacks on minorities without fear of any law. He said not a single government functionary has condemned or even visited any victims’ home as Haryana witnessed many such incidents in the last three years.
Referring to the on-going farmers’ agitation in the country, he said it is a deliberate ploy of the Modi government and Sangh Parivar to target minorities for diverting the attention of public from the real issues. “You see not a single Haryana government or ruling party functionary has contacted the family or expressed sorrow at what happened,” he underlined.
Quoting Saira Begum, the mother of Junaid, Brinda Karat said she told the delegation that it was with a lot of sacrifice that Saira had brought up her sons and educated them. Junaid had just completed his course at Madarsa in Gujarat; to celebrate that she had given him and his brothers Rs 1500 to buy new clothes.
Brinda said, “Saira wept when she said Junaid was fasting and hence had not had even a drop of water on the day he was killed. She said her sons were rushing back to break their fast at home but ‘I could not even give him his last morsel.’”
The father of Junaid has been called to the police station several times but till now only one person has been arrested.
The delegation was told that the young men travelling on the train to and from Delhi with identifiable signs of being Muslims, such as the skull cap and beard were targeted communally by many groups on the train.
Bhajanmandalis with battery operated mikes have converted many general compartments into exclusive religious zones, and many abusive comments are made when Muslim men enter the compartments to pray. The delegation was told that harassment has become a common experience and there is fear and apprehension among Muslims when travelling.
Complaints have been made several times with the police but they have been ignored repeatedly.
Karat said it is the sustained toxic propaganda of the RSS against the minority communities which has led to such a situation where Muslims feel unsafe in public places and such spaces have been communalized.
Brinda Karat added, “This is the reality of the “Sab ka saath, Sab ka vikas” slogan.”
The CPI (M) demands include immediate arrest of the guilty, identification of the political connections of the criminals and appropriate action and security on all the local trains travelling on this route.
Brinda Karat said the delegation assured the grieving family, father Jalaluddin and mother Saira of their support and expressed its solidarity with the family.
She also announced that CPI (M) will organize protests against such incidents and meet Home Minister Rajanth Singh in this regard if the police and administration do not take any action against the perpetrators.
Meanwhile, a delegation of Jamiat Ulama-i- Hind (M) also visited the bereaved family and demanded stern action against the culprits. After meeting victims’ family members, Jamiat delegation said the police remained a mute spectator when the mob was attacking all three brothers while they were getting down from the train at Vallabhgarh railway station.
Jamiat delegation leader Maulana Ali Mohammad Ranota said it is a clear cut case of hate crime against a certain community and police did not act against the perpetrators.