Hindu extremists lynch Dalit man, spark anti-Muslim violence in Maharashtra
Hindu extremists have spread hate speech and sparked anti-Muslim violence in Maharashtra’s Akola city, leading to the mob lynching of a Dalit man, injuries to several others, and an internet shutdown in the city.
The violence was triggered after a Hindu supremacist made an Instagram post making hateful comments about Muslims and the Prophet Muhammad, garnering thousands of likes and shares. Muslims approached the police station in order to file a complaint, fearing a threat to their safety.
“We were told that the Muslims in the old city region will be targeted. The post was provocative and put out with the intention to hurt our sentiments,” said one Muslim man.
When the police ignored the Muslims’ requests, a crowd of local Muslims began protesting, leading to an outbreak of stone pelting.
“In no time, the news of the incident [among Hindus] was distorted. Now, suddenly WhatsApp messages were sent out claiming a mob of Muslim men had entered the temple,” said Dynaneshwar Sultane, a witness. Sultane said while no such incident happened, it had triggered an “immediate response among the Hindus,” who then attempted to break into and vandalize a local mosque.
In the violence that followed, a Dalit man, Vilas Gaikwad, was brutally lynched by a Hindu extremist mob who thought he was Muslim.
“He repeatedly kept telling the mob that he is not from the Muslim community. But nothing would convince the angry mob,” said a witness to the murder.
Despite the violence being largely triggered by the actions of Hindu supremacists, most of the 28 people arrested in the aftermath have been Muslim.
Everest climber removed as program ambassador of MP govt after joining Congress
The government of Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled Madhya Pradesh state has punished an Everest climber, Megha Parmar, by removing her as an ambassador for a government program promoting girls’ education after she joined the opposition Congress party.
The program, “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” (Save the girl child, educate her), aims to push back against gender bias and encourage women empowerment.
Parmar was also dropped as brand ambassador of Sanchi Milk by the state government’s Cooperative Dairy Federation.
Speaking to reporters from the Indian news outlet NDTV, Parmar said, “I was working for the promotion of the Sanchi brand, encouraging farmers and small dairies in individual villages to give their milk produce to the state cooperative federation. In June, we were about to start a programme, under which parents of every newborn girl would be gifted the Sanchi Ghee (clarified butter)… But all of a sudden, my three-year contract was terminated just because I joined the Congress?”
Bajrang Dal intimidates Muslim juice seller working at shop with Hindu name
Members of the violent Hindu militant group Bajrang Dal were caught on video intimidating a Muslim juice seller who had rented a shop with a Hindu name in Delhi.
The shop, “Raju Juice and Shakes,” was accosted by Hindu militants, who demanded to know why a Muslim was running a shop with a Hindu name.
“Don’t give it a Hindu name. Don’t create confusion,” the militants can be heard telling the juice seller. The militants also claimed that Muslims do “thook jihad” or “spit jihad,” a ludicrous conspiracy theory claiming that Muslim food and drink vendors spit into customers’ food.