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Rajasthan rally demands end of "targeting" of Muslim cow breeders: Civil society, TUs, Left protest lynching incidents

By Our Representative
A major rally in Jaipur, organized by several civil society organizations of Rajasthan, has demanded peace and justice in the state, even as bringing an end to frequent lynching of Muslims. Between April and December as many as five cases of lynching of Muslims have taken place in the state. The rally decided to set up district-level peace committees to end the “targeting” of minorities.
Slogans at the rally included "Vasundhara Raje stop hate politics", "Bring justice to all killed in hate politics", "Long live Constitution”, “Down with the Sangh Parivar”, and “Death to RSS ideology”. The demands included immediate arrest the “real killers” of Pehlu Khan, Zafar Khan, Umar Khan, Talim Hussain and Afrazul, the victims of lynching since April.
Organized jointly by civil society organizations in alliance with Dalit, Muslim and women groups, citizens’ and students’ bodies, trade unions, left parties and their organizations, the speakers at the rally said, the state was “burning” in the fire of hate and the brutal killing in Rajsamand of Afrazul by one Shambhu Lal Regar had opened a new chapter in the book of hate.
The killing was videotaped, following which several videos, including those justifying the killing, were put on the social media “There was effort to instantly make the killer a hero. The killing took place on the day that the demolition of Babri Masjid took place”, recalled Kavita Shrivastava of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), one of the organizers of the rally. “Shockingly, a day was observed by Hindutva forces as Shaurya Diwas, as domination over Muslims.”
Shrivastava said, “In almost all the cases of lynching the culprits are still at large. Hate speeches have been delivered by BJP MLAs Gyan Dev Ahuja, who said all cow smugglers should be shot dead and Banwari Lal Singhal, who said, Muslims were reproducing at the rate of 12 to 14 children per family to finish off Hindu domination in the country.”
Speakers at the rally demanded booking and arrest of the two MLA, even as seeking to restore peace by arresting of all the accused involved in lynching incidents. They wondered whether the state government has made a policy of lodging false FIRs against cow rearers and dairy farmers if they are Muslims.
“Would Pratapgarh's Zafar Khan killing be treated as a death due to natural circumstance and the killers would be allowed to go scot free? Would the killers of Umar Khan be arrested after the by-polls of Alwar? Would Talim Hussain's killers in Khakhi ever be booked for their crime?”, she asked.
The rally decided to form peace, justice and brotherhood committees in all districts, even as starting a “Save Constitution” yatra in a run up to the Republic Day. A resolution passed condemning the Government of Maharashtra for not protecting Dalits, allowing dominant caste people to attack them, leading to the killing of a Dalit in Koregaon.
“Is it the government agenda to destroy the livelihoods of Muslims of the Mewat area”, Shrivastava said, wondering whether the killers named by Pehlu Khan before he died would ever be arrested. The rally took place on January 3, which happened to be birth anniversary of Savitribai Phule, well-known fighter against untouchability and for women's empowerment in Maharashtra.
A memorandum was handed over to the district magistrate, to be forwarded to the chief minister, by former MLA Ayub Khan from Alwar, who spoke of the deteriorating condition in the state. Among others those who spoke were Suman Devathiya of the All India Dalit Mahila Manch, Ravindra Shukla of the CPI-M, Nisha Sidhu of the CPI, and Manjulata of the National Federation of Indian Women.

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