Muslims in Mewat region and Rajasthan have been living under state of fear and terror. While revealing this, a Fact-Finding team of MPs, MLAs, lawyers and activists under the banner of Bhumi Adhikar Andolan on Monday said the members of minority community have lost faith in the BJP-led government in the state which has been allegedly complicit in protecting so-called Gau-Rakshaks and the accused. Slamming the opposition congress for its silence on the communal attacks, the team said ‘the Police is harassing and barging into Muslim houses without following due procedure.
The team visited Bharatpur, Alwar, Rajsamand and Udaipur in Rajasthan on 6-7 January to look into the increasing incidents of lynching and attacks in the name of Gau-Raksha, encounter killings, deliberate communal polarisation and attacks on Muslims in the State.
The team members briefed the media persons here after the 2-day fact-finding mission. K.K Ragesh MP alleged that the Rajasthan Police and civil administration have been working in connivance to defend the accused belong to Sangh Parivar who were involved in mob-lynching cases.
Just one day before our visit, Bharatpur police arrested four accused in the murder of Ummar Khan who was killed by “Cow Terrorists”, he said.
The team visited Ghatmeeka Village in Bharatpur district met the family of Ummar Khan who was killed by “Cow Terrorists”. The village is located about 120 kilometers from the National Capital was a sign of utter neglect and people are denied the basic facilities like proper roads, well-equipped schools, health-centers, water-supply and other basic amenities”.
The village falling within the Mewat region has witnessed no communal disturbances and people of Hindu, as well as a Muslim community, have lived in harmony. The family of Ummar Khan is living in utter poverty and his mother, wife, and children are in an inconsolable state with no support or compensation coming forward from the BJP-led State Government, he said.
The team found that every household is engaged in dairying and all homesteads have cows, buffaloes or goats from which the people earn their livelihood.
Viju Krishnan alleged that an effort is being made to brand the entire Muslim community in Mewat region as ‘criminal’.
Certain elements in the Police department are working in connivance with the communal forces to brand villagers belonging to minority community as criminals reminiscent of the British colonial branding of certain tribes as Criminal Tribes, he added.
“While interacting with the topmost Revenue and Police officers of Alwar where the repeated incidents of killing of dairy farmers have taken place, the team found a high degree of prejudice against the minority community. This bias and religious profiling have led to numerous false cases being filed against dairy farmers as cow smugglers and systematic harassment.”
The approach of the Collector and Superintendent of Police in Alwar was insensitive and they were carrying forward the narrative of the Gaurakshaks.
The Police gave a dossier to the team about so-called cow-smuggling cases of Muslims in the area.
When we confronted the police how many people were convicted and how can it be termed as smuggling? Police have no answers, said team members.
Highlighting the brazen bias of the police, MP Badrudduzza Khan said Tahir and Javed who were arrested in the name of cow-smuggling in the same case have been languishing in the jail without bail.
Rajasthan has become the hotbed of so-called Gaurakshaks’ violent activities against Muslim community. It is the only state in the country where Police outposts have set up for the protection of cows. There are as many as 12 Gau-Raksha Police outposts in Bharatpur and Alwar districts and these outposts also act hand-in-glove with the vigilante groups.
Supreme Court lawyer P.V.Surendra Nath alleged that the police and the administration facilitate so-called gau rakshaks to attack Muslim dairy farmers and after the criminal act, the police start searching evidence in favor of the accused. There is a consistent collaboration between Police and administration to protect the accused, he said.
In Alwar, the family of Talim, a 22-year-old who was killed in what they alleged was a fake encounter met the team and explained how he had been shot point-blank and no FIR had been lodged even days after the incident.
In Rajsamand where Afrajul was killed in a brutal manner and the whole act was video-graphed and made viral on social media, the team met with the Collector and the Superintendent of Police. The approach of the officials here was cooperative and they pointed out that the killer had conspired to kill and propagate a false story of Love-Jihad in a planned manner.
The team held a Public Hearing in Udaipur in which victims of communal attacks and police harassment met the team and apprised them of the volatile situation being deliberately created by the ruling BJP and Sangh Parivar. Rashida Bi, widow of Zafar Khan who was killed in Pratapgarh for objecting to the photography of women defecating in the open met the team and explained that all the culprits are moving around scot-free and the BJP Government has also made no compensation for the family.
Team members also underlined that “auto drivers, retired government personnel, traders and others from the minority community also brought to the notice of the team that they were facing threats, attacks and intimidation on a day to day basis”.
They also pointed out that the police are entering homes without following due processes and also arresting people on false and fictitious charges . The team assured that their issues will be raised in the Parliament, with the National Human Rights Commission and other authorities and build resistance to the communal forces.
State assembly elections are due in December this year. Team member Mahboob Alam, MLA (Bihar) feared that the communal situation may further get worsen as the ruling BJP may try to divert public attention from its failure. He also criticized the role of the opposition Congress which is only thinking in terms of electoral politics.
It is a matter of grave concern that the main opposition party in the State, the Congress has failed to address the issue and mobilize opinion against the communal attacks on citizens, he said.
“Unfortunately, they (Congressmen) have made no efforts to reach out to the families of victims or those facing attacks or being arrested on false charges”.
ABB also announced that it would release a detailed Report on the situation later.
The Fact-Finding Team comprised of K.K Ragesh MP Rajya Sabha from Kerala and Joint Secretary AIKS, Badrudduzza Khan , MP Lok Sabha from Bengal, Mehaboob Alam, MLA from Bihar and leader of AIKMS, Amra Ram Ex MLA and Vice President AIKS, Dr.Vijoo Krishnan Joint Secretary, AIKS, P.Krishnaprasad Ex MLA and Finance Secretary AIKS, Thirunavukkarasu, President, AIAWU, Advocates from Supreme Court P.V.Surendra Nath, Senior Advocate, Adv. Resmitha R Chandran, Adv. K.R.Subhash Chandran, Bilal Khan, National Organiser, NAPM, Mujahid Nafees, leader of BAA from Gujarat, Devendra Singh Chouhan, Vice President AIKMS, Dhirendra Bhadauria , EC member AIKMS, Rajasthan BAA leaders Chhagan Lal Choudhary (AIKS), Dr. Sanjay Madhav (AIKS), Sawai Singh (Samagra Sewa Sangh), Moulana Haneef, Virendra Vidrohi ( INSAF) among others. A group of media persons also accompanied the delegation.