How hate spills onto physical targeted attacks on the streets: August 2023, India

From Assam to Haryana, incidents of hate against minorities flood the news

In a concerning series of events, incidents of communal vigilantism have raised serious concerns about the safety of minority communities in India. Sabrang India rounds then up for you.

Cow militia thrashed truck drivers in Bhiwani district, Haryana

For instance, in the Bhiwani, district of Haryana, a shocking case emerged on August 12, where members of Acharya Azad Singh Arya’s cow militia violently attacked two mini-truck drivers, Junaid and Nasir. The brutal assault was carried out under the pretext of transporting cattle. 

According to the statement of a relative, the vehicle had proper certificates, “We had proper licenses to transport cattle. I request the Rajasthan and Haryana government to look into the mob attack and ensure justice to Junaid and Nasir.”

Bhiwani, district has gained notoriety due to its history of cow vigilantes taking the law into their own hands, often with fatal consequences. Notably, the region experienced the terror reign of individuals like Monu Manesar and Bittu Bajrangi, with Monu Manesar facing accusations of killing two Muslims in the name of cow protection. 

(The incident actually took place at Bhiwani, Haryana)

An investigative piece in the August edition of The Caravan magazine by Harsh Mander has documented the disturbing growth of cow vigilante mobs and their operational methods. Mandar’s article explicitly points out that the rising communal tension in the Mewat region can be attributed primarily to the terrorising actions of cow vigilantes against Muslims.

Imam assaulted and blamed for alleged religious conversions in Meerut, UP

Adding to the distressing sequence of events, an incident in Meerut on August 12 involved the physical assault of an Imam over alleged conversion attempts. Although the audio in the video documenting the incident is unclear, it captures the assault on the Imam, including the involvement of a woman. The attackers are heard shouting, “We are Hindus. Why are you destroying our religion?”

Muslim man lynched over cattle theft in Assam

The unsettling trend of mob vigilantism targeting minorities continues in Assam, where a 40-year-old Muslim man, Hifzur Rahman, fell victim to a Hindu mob’s violent tendencies. On a fateful Saturday night in the Bamungaon area of Hojai’s Lanka on August 12, Rahman was lynched by the mob on suspicions of cattle theft. Despite the victim’s claims of innocence and proper legal procedures, he was assaulted by the crowd in the darkness of the night, leading to severe injuries. Later, police transported Rahman to a nearby hospital. Rahman, however, succumbed to his injuries and was declared dead despite all medical efforts. According to authorities, his body was transported for a post-mortem examination.

The incident prompted the victim’s family to report the heinous crime to the police, sparking an inquiry into the matter. Eight individuals were subsequently identified by the authorities as suspects in the lynching case. Six of these suspects, namely Sanjay Das, Nikhil Das, Tulendra Das, Uttam Chakraborty, Jayanta Chakraborty, and Sandhu Mazumdar, were apprehended and taken into custody. The gravity of the situation has raised concerns about the prevalence of mob and vigilante violence in the area. Legal actions are underway under Section 302 (murder) and other relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the arrested individuals.


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