Monday, September 25, 2017
NEW DELHI: The message being sent out by the hate mobs scouring the trains, highways, districts is that Muslims are not safe any longer in India. And can be beaten up, abused, lynched for being just who they are. The poison of hate is spreading with impunity, with another hate crime on board a moving passenger road making it clear that the death of 15 year old Junaid has made no difference to the mobs who seem to be on a mission to hunt down Muslims.
A Muslim family of ten boarded the Shikohabad-Kasganj passenger train near Mainpuri in Uttar Pradesh.The group included women, a physically and mentally challenged teenager and elderly men. First a group of five men reportedly attacked the family, abusing and beating them. "Later, when the train was about to reach Nibkarori station, the youths stopped the train by pulling its chain and called up some of their friends, who arrived on motorbikes.Then, some more men, who were armed with iron rods and sticks, attacked us," a Times of India report quoted one of the victims as saying. The women were also molested, according to the report.
The men have all sustained fractures, and have internal stomach injuries being hit repeatedly on the abdomen. The police moved in only after a video of the assault went viral. Some passengers reportedly objected to the assault but given the ferocity of the counter left for other coaches for their own safety. The video shows the youths banging on the train coach from outside and then breaking the emergency window and entering the compartment. They pulled the men’s beards, abused them, called them beef eaters, and then set upon them, mercilessly.
The TOI report quotes the family saying: 50-year-old Mohammad Shakir, who suffered severe head injury along with fracture in right hand in the assault said, "It was a horror which I cannot forget. They attacked us with iron roads, robbed our belonging and molested our women. They didn't even spare my 17-year-old physically and mentally challenged son."
Shakir added, "They verbally abused us with some in the attacking group saying, "Kill them, they are Muslims", and they continued to beat us until we became unconscious."
According to Arsaan (22), son of Shakir, "The assailants groped my mother and sister blouse and salwar torn it. They snatched their gold chains and took our luggage and jewellery. They even attacked other passengers who came to rescue us. Later the passengers abandoned the coach leaving us behind to fight the assailants."
"As soon the train stopped, the assailants jumped out of the train and called 20-25 youths who were already waiting on bike. We immediately locked the doors of the coach from inside and shut down the windows but the assailants started stone pelting and broke the emergency window panel. They barged inside the coach and again started assaulting us, while the other passengers abandoned the train," he said.
"After the incident we attempted to contact police on dial 100, but every time, call was dropped. Later when the train reached Farrukhabad junction, the GRP took us to hospital," he added.
This comes on the heels of the attack on the family of four brothers returning home after Eid shopping on June 22, with a mob inside the passenger train stabbing them and killing 15 year old Junaid. The incident had been covered widely in the international media that led Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make a generic statement without even the gesture of urging the state governments---in Junaids case Haryana and now UP---to apprehend the culprits and secure the safety of Muslims in the country.
Muslims already terrified with the spate of lynchings, and attacks are now scared of travelling in trains with many persons spoken to saying that this is becoming clearly very dangerous. Travelling on the highways as well is also fraught with danger as Muslim families have been attacked for little more than being Muslim.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken out on July 29 against violence, saying it will not resolve any problem with the reminder that this was the land of Gandhi. He had not spelt out the problem, however, although the choice of phraseology was commented upon by Opposition leaders at the time. He further said that no one had the right to take the law into their own hands. On the day he was speaking a meat trader was pulled out of his vehicle and killed by a mob in Jharkhand’r Giridih district. This was just two days after a mob had lynched a Muslim farmer in Jharkhand just because a cow carcass was found outside his house. His home was set on fire.
The attack on the Mathura bound passenger train was ferocious to put it mildly, and cold blooded with the first group calling in for reinforcements who arrived on motorcycles and boarded the train was stopped by pulling the emergency chain. The abuse and the beating with iron roads was interspersed with racial religious filthy slurs, making it apparent that the attack was because the family was Muslim.