A few days ago, during the trial of the persons accused of killing Junaid Khan, Justice YS Rathor of the Faridabad District Court made an extremely astounding observation. In his written order, Justice Rathor observed, “Despite repeated warnings, government additional advocate General Naveen Kaushik was seen helping the lawyer of the accused and telling him the questions which will be asked to the accused.” Following this, Kaushik was removed from his post and Justice Rathor also asked the Haryana government to take action against Kaushik.
Justice Rathor’s observation may have been a revelation for some, but it points to a much bigger issue: time and again, the way the state and central government have acted in cases related to mob lynching of Muslims, it is clear that justice for Muslims in these cases will be tough and probably elusive. This becomes even more visible in cases where the state government is also under the BJP, as is the case in Haryana where Junaid was murdered.
Take the case of Pahlu Khan, where an independent investigation has conclusively proved how the government is hell-bent on providing all possible support to the accused. The police have been in an overdrive mode trying to prove that the men named by Khan in his dying declaration were never present on the site (despite video evidence) while the hospital where Khan was brought says he died of a heart attack. The report also details exactly how the police have time and again, shown a lackadaisical attitude towards the case. In September, the police announced that an investigation by their Crime Investigation Department— Crime Branch (CID-CB) had obtained evidence and statements from witnesses that proved that these six men named by Khan in his statement were not present on the scene of the crime during the attack and, therefore, could not have murdered Khan.
The situation is no different in Jharkhand, which is also ruled by the BJP. When a Muslim trader Alimuddin Ansari was lynched in Ramgarh, the government showed little or no interest in treating it as a matter of hate crime but instead focussed on trying to prove that Ansari was illegally trading in cow meat. The wife of the Jalil Ansari, the only eyewitness to the incident who decided to stand up was ‘killed’ in an accident moments before the court proceedings were about to begin relating to the case. It is no coincidence that prior to this, the family of Jalil Ansari had been receiving multiple threats from members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the BJP. Two local BJP leaders: Nityanand Mahato and Santosh, along with three others had been arrested. Two more Bajrang Dal members surrendered a few days later.
Apart from these cases, the BJP has actively encouraged and extended support to Gaurakshaks across the country, with cabinet ministers often applauding their work that has led to the death of over 30 people in the past three years. The BJP and its extended Sangh Parivar have extensively used state machinery to ensure maximum protection for people arrested for such heinous crimes and it is unlikely that this will change anytime soon.
Courtesy: Two Circles