Muslim organisations took out a rally Wednesday in protest against the lynching of 50-year-old Mohammed Akhlaq in Uttar Pradesh’s Bisara village near Delhi on September 28 over rumours that his family had consumed beef.
Members of 15 Muslim organisations took out the rally from Haji Md Mohsin Square to Rani Rashmoni Avenue in Central Kolkata, claiming that the central government “had done nothing to give justice to the family”.
“We demand justice and security for Akhlaq’s family, check on anti-social activities and punishment for the offenders without any further delay,” said Md Qamruzzaman, general secretary, All Bengal Minority Youth Federation. He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is very active on social media, did not tweet about the incident or spoke a word condemning the act until today when the pressure got to him.
“It is our misfortune that a secular country like India is headed by a communal leader like Modi who has been orchestrating these communal incidents; and now, instead of controlling his goons, he is touring foreign countries,” Qamruzzaman said.
The rally also saw human rights organisations Association For Protection of Democratic Rights and Bandi Mukti Committee, lend their support.
Chhoton Das, general secretary, BMC, labelled it as “a shame for the country” and asked everyone to protest against it. “It is an attack on the democratic rights of an individual and is condemnable. What I will eat and wear should completely be my choice and no one has any right to interfere with it. After the Pujas, we will organise a bigger movement against this infringement on an individual’s rights,” Das said.
Nurul Islam Khan, a senior member of Hizabullah Furfura Darbar Sharif, said that ever since the Modi government has come to power, (communal) incidents such as these have been taking place at an unprecedented rate. “It is an attempt to polarise the country on the basis of religion. Even the members of the BJP are not spared,” he said, referring to the Shiv Sena’s ink attack on Sudheendra Kulkarni for organising the book launch of former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri in Mumbai on Monday. Kulkarni, who heads the Observer Research Foundation, was a speechwriter for former PM Atal Behari Vajpayee.
At the end of the rally, Qamruzzaman warned that if the Centre did not ensure justice and security to the family members of Akhlaq, there will be a greater movement after the festive season.