NEW DELHI — Scores of students from Manipur, studying at various academic institutions in Delhi, took out a protest demonstration on Monday to condemn the lynching of MBA student Mohammad Farooq Khan in Imphal, the capital city of Manipur. They also strongly denounced attempts to spread communal hatred in the North-Eastern state.
26-year-old Farooq Khan was lynched on suspicion of bike theft attempt in the Tharoijam village in Imphal West district on 14th September. A video of the incident shows some armed policemen present while Khan was lying in a field, moving his body slightly. He was brutally assaulted by the villagers. He died on the spot. The state police have suspended four police officials.
To condemn the incident, dozens of students from different academic institutions held a protest demonstration near the Delhi University here on Monday. They had gathered under the banner of Delhi Association Of Manipur Muslims Students (DAMMS).
“On the wee hour of the 13th September, the inhuman mob of Tharoijam lynched Md Farooque khan on an unestablished accusation of vehicle theft. The incident came to the light on the public when the perpetrators uploaded numbers of pictures and violent video clips of lynching Md Farooque on the Facebook. Those videos clearly suggest evidence that the lynching was an organised and planned murder,” said DAMMS in a statement.
“He was even denied a sip of water in his last breath reducing the universal human values and human rights at shame. There were none to stop the mob in their brutal attempt to kill him in the open ground. He was seemingly put under and tortured in the custody for many hours and dragged out to the open ground and finished him off later in the presence of police denying all the basic fundamental rights to life to justice. From the video it is heard, “These all are Pangals (Muslim), killing them all is the only solution for peace in Manipur’’,” said the group.
It claimed that in the last five years, at least half a dozen Muslims have been lynched in the state.
Several other students groups also took part in the protest demonstration. They included: SIO, CFI, BAPSA, SFI and AISA.
Anguished over occurrence of mob lynching with “disturbing regularity” in the North East and other parts of the country, the North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS) also held a candlelight vigil in Delhi on Saturday.
The mourners were holding placards with various anti-hatred messages printed on them, like “Not To Hate Crime”, “No More Violence” and “Stop Violence Against Muslims.” They also demanded a CBI enquiry into the lynching of Farooq as well as a couple who were lynched by a mob on the suspicion of practising witchcraft in Tinsukia district of Assam.
On Monday, NEFIS sent a memorandum to Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh, demanding strict action against the culprits so as to ensure justice for the deceased.
The group also demanded that “an act aimed at the protection of minorities should be enacted and that the government should clamp down on incidents of mob lynching and communal clashes, and seriously deal with vested interests wishing to destroy social fabric of the region. NEFIS calls upon all communities to undertake confidence building measures aimed at building communal harmony among them.”