Indian teenager Junaid Khan was going home by train after doing Eid shopping last week when around 20 people attacked him. The mob called the 16-year-old a “beef-eater” and stabbed him to death. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who earlier hailed the country’s diversity in his speech on the occasion of the Muslim festival, did not utter a word about this or any of the public lynchings over the last couple of years.
According to police, four young Muslims were lynched by the mob that had been provoked by a handful of people. When Khan was fatally stabbed and bled to death, the train was heavily packed with passengers. Interestingly enough, the police have not found any witness to help with the case.
According to the police, the reason behind Khan’s murder was a fight over a seat on the train. However, one of Khan’s brothers, who survived the knife attack, gave a different story altogether. He said that it was a racist attack, in which the attackers slapped them, pulled their beards, and threw off their religious skullcaps. They also taunted them as “beef-eaters.”
The cow has been used as a tool for polarization in the Indian society under the rule of Hindu nationalist party BJP. The party led by PM Modi wants to ban cow slaughter in the country. It is forbidden for Hindus to eat beef, while Muslims or Christians have no such restrictions on their religion.
I assure you, the dreams that you have for India will be fulfilled. pic.twitter.com/OtY16q5mKi
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 25, 2017
This was not the first time a public lynching occurred over beef.
In the infamous Dadri lynching in 2015, Mohammed Akhlaq was killed over rumors that he stored beef in the fridge. Pehlu Khan, a dairy farmer, was earlier lynched by “cow vigilantes” in front of dozens of people after he had been accused of smuggling cows. Khan died three days after the lynching had been recorded on a number of smartphones. The New York Times reported that neither Modi or the state CM said anything about the murder.
As the BBC points out, many wonder if “mobocracy” is ruling India under the leadership of Modi. The Indian prime minister, who is known for his oratory, is unusually silent about the public lynchings.
Meanwhile, thousands of people gathered in the national capital to protest mob lynching in the country. The #NotInMyName campaign was organized after Junaid Khan’s lynching. In the last couple of years, nearly a dozen mob lynchings against Muslims have taken place in the country that is respected around the world for having a secular society.
[Featured Image by Sergey Guneev/Host Photo Agency/Ria Novosti via Getty Images]