Dozens rally in support of Hindu extremist accused of burning, killing Muslim men
After the Hindu extremist leader, Monu Manesar, was held responsible for the brutal lynching and setting ablaze of two Muslim men in Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled Haryana state, dozens of Hindu extremists organized a public rally in his support.
The two Muslim men, Junaid and Nasir, were brutally murdered over false suspicions of cow theft.
Slogans openly encouraging anti Muslim violence were raised, including “Those who clash with us will be razed to dust,” “Monu brother, move forward, we are with you,” and “For the respect of cow vigilantes, every Hindu will step into the field.”
Earlier this month, a Muslim man named Waris was also lynched to death in the same region by Hindu extremists led by Manesar, also for transporting a cow.
Manesar is part of the violent Hindu extremist group Bajrang Dal, and has been involved in several cow vigilante attacks. Despite this, he enjoys connections with the police and has shared photos of himself with Hindu supremacist Home Minister Amit Shah, one of the most powerful politicians in India.
He has also shared videos of himself brandishing guns and threatening Muslim men, several of whom were seen brutally wounded.
Cow vigilantism, or Hindu mob violence against Muslims who transport or slaughter cows, has become dangerously commonplace in Hindu supremacist Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s India.
Federal probe agency raids residence of Muslim human rights lawyer
India’s federal probe agency raided the residence of Muslim human rights lawyer Ansar Indori, days after he appeared in a case challenging a report filed by the agency regarding the arbitrary ban on a Muslim political group called the Popular Front of India (PFI).
The crackdown on the PFI has been widely condemned by civil rights groups. Hundreds of Muslim men have been arrested in this case under draconian anti-terror laws, preventing them from getting bail.
The agency seized several books pertaining to human rights from Indori’s house.
“I believe the raid is to harass me…It is an attempt to threaten or falsely implicate me given my fight for human rights,” Indori said.
Earlier, Indori was booked by police in Tripura state after he visited Tripura with a fact-finding team to probe atrocities against Muslims.
The move is part of a larger crackdown on human rights defenders, journalists, and activists who criticize Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s regime.
Thousands of Christians protest in national capital against rising hate and violence
Thousands of Christians protested in the capital city of Delhi against the escalation of hate and violence by Hindu supremacist groups against Christians in several states across the country.
Members of about 100 churches and Christian organizations took part in the protest.
“Churches are being attacked, our people are being beaten up and arrested. The community members are living in a constant state of panic,” said Steven, a resident of BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh state.
The protest comes six days after a church in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh state was vandalized and torched.
Prior to that, a mob had vandalized a church in Chhattisgarh state. Five Hindu extremists, including a BJP leader, were arrested.
“Continued waves of vile hate speech and targeted violence have buffeted the Christian community in recent years, and in particular in 2022-23,” their statement read. “The violence seems to have reached a crescendo in January and February 2023.”
The United Christian Forum, a human rights group based in Delhi, last year recorded 598 incidents of violence against Christians in 21 states.