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The country is worried about the unchecked growth of communal hatred and mistrust being brewed for the sake of electoral politics, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In his letter, Azad expressed concern at the rising instances of vigilantism, the latest in a series of cases being the alleged killing of two cattle traders in Latehar district of Jharkhand. The two — one of them a minor — were found hanging from a tree on Friday. A day later five men were arrested, including one with links to a gau raksha samiti, or a cow protection outfit.
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Among some of the recent incidents are the murder of a man in Dadri, in Greater Noida near the national capital, on suspicions that he had stored beef at his home, the raids at Kerala House in Delhi, the canteen of Aligarh Muslim University, and the handing over four Kashmiri students of Mewar University in Chittorgarh, Rajasthan, to the police on suspicion that they were cooking beef in the varsity hostel.
Recalling these incidents, Azad alleged that people from the minority community were being targeted on one pretext or the other across the country.
Azad wrote: “It is unfortunate that our country has seen a sharp spurt in incidents of threats, intimidation, mob violence and vigilantism after the takeover of BJP government in Centre and that a majoritarian view of democracy is being propagated and promoted consciously and deliberately. This has serious implications for the survival of democracy, pluralism, social harmony and peace, besides growth and development of the country.”
Noting that while “it is nobody’s case that cow slaughter should not be banned”, the Congress leader wrote, “Normal transport and trading of animals from one place to another should not be targeted. It must not be a preconceived notion that such transport and trade is meant for cow slaughter and the mobs and vigilantes sponsored by the affiliates of the Sangh Parivar to recklessly target the members of the minority community.”