The Bhoomi Adhikaar Andolan, the largest Left and Democratic platform of 300 independent organizations representing peasants, agriculture workers , Tribals and Dalits strongly protest the heinous crime of lynching Pehlu Khan, a poor dairy farmer of Jaisingpur of Nuh district of Mewat region of Haryana by activists of Bajrang Dal, Viswa Hindu Parishad and RSS on 1 April 2017 at Alwar, Rajasthan.
We consider the heinous attack as part of conscious efforts and conspiracy by the Hindu Communal forces led by the RSS to systematically and slowly poisoning the society with communal hatred and intolerance with the aim of dividing the people for narrow political and electoral benefits.
Sangh Pariwar organisations are consistently unleashing violence by raking up sensitive issues like ban on cow slaughter and beef eating especially after Narendra Modi Government assumed power. The murder of Muhammad Akhlaque in Dadri in Uttar Pradesh and lynching of two persons including a child to death and hanging them on way side tree near Hazaribagh in Jharkhand, killing of a truck driver in Jammu, Dingarheri in Mewat (Haryana) as well as attacks on Dalits in Una of Gujarat and elsewhere are few incidents in the past to recall.
Such incidents are continuing unabated and there is mushrooming of illegal armed vigilante groups which can be termed as Indian version of Taliban and Islamic State, particularly in BJP ruled states. Moreover, the administration is being misused to manipulate evidences and sabotage the cases.
We demand to all constitutional institutions including The Parliament, the Supreme Court and President of India as the Head of the State that these sort of ulterior action must be deemed as anti-national activity and dealt with utmost gravity.
The home Minister of Rajasthan Mr Gulab Chand Kataria had been consistently and publically defending the culprits as ‘protectors of law’ and the victims as ‘culprits of cow smuggling’ and the local police miserably failed to handle the crime with impartiality and registered a false FIR against Pehlu Khan and other innocent famers, despite the farmers were in possession of authentic records issued by Jaipur Municipal Corporation of purchasing cow as per legal procedures. Though the farmers went to Jaipur Hatwada to purchase milch cattle for rearing, the FIR states that they were taking cows in the pickup Van to sell.
The FIR registered by the local police has stated that the mob which attacked the farmers was activists of Viswa Hindu Parishath and Bajrang Dal indicates the role of RSS in the heinous attack on the farmers. The Media has reported that after Pehlu Khan died succumbing to his injuries the District leaders of VHP had threatened the senior police officers of dire consequences if any of their activists got arrested in connection with the lynching. There is total breakdown of law and order system in Rajasthan. The Rajasthan police arrested three persons only after the National Media started reporting the incident and the issue becomes serious in the Parliament since the opposition members raised it. The police did not arrest anybody who was indulged in violence and vandalism since they are activists of the feeder organizations of RSS and on the other hand the police acted in connivance with the culprits needs to be taken with due seriousness by all constitutional authorities.
One of the victims, Ajmat also from Jaisinghpur is bed ridden due to suspected injury on spinal cord and forcefully discharged from the Kailas Hospital of Behrod in Alwar. He is staying at home out of fear of life.
BAA believes this incident shall be viewed as a test case and all progressive people should come together in defense of the secular fabric of the country, ensuring an impartial justice delivery system with high sensitivity in protecting the democratic and civil rights of every citizen of the country.
BAA considers the Cattle protection not as an issue of religious belief or of Hindu –Muslim conflict but an agrarian issue having severe implication on peasant economy. 26% of the agrarian GDP is from animal husbandry. The recent enactments by some of the state governments led by BJP for so called ‘cow protection’ are an infringement on rights of the peasantry on cattle trade. Such laws virtually ban the cattle trade with dire consequences on rural agrarian economy. In the beginning of monsoon season, the peasants used to sell their unproductive female animals and grown up male animals to find money for purchasing seed and fertilizers for cultivation. Ban on cattle trade drives the already crisis ridden agriculture into deeper crisis and intensify the grip of debt trap over peasant households. The experience shows that these laws are not helpful for the cattle as well. With no option left to them, the peasants are forced to free the old animals into public places causing havoc to crops and public. The governments which have enacted such legislation have the responsibility to protect the interests of the farmers as well as the cattle. The peasantry shall stand united in order to protect their traditional right on cattle trade.
- The Vasundhara Raje Government of Rajasthan must provide Rs. One Crore as compensation to the bereaved family of Pehlu Khan and Rs.25 lakhs each to the other victims, taking the responsibility of the incident and to ensure civil and democratic rights and to give a strong message to the anti national elements which are trying to disrupt communal harmony.
- The Manohar lal Khattar government of Haryana must ensure Immediate and free medical treatment to all the victims.
- The state Government must provide government job to one family member of Pehlu Khan.
- Immediate arrest of all culprits and ensure stringent punishment. Withdraw false cases against victims.
- A special investigation team under direct supervision of Supreme Court must be assigned to ensure impartial investigation to the crime and role of the police
- A high level enquiry under the supervision of the Supreme Court to unearth the conspiracy of RSS to create communal unrest on the issue of cow slaughter.
- Ensure farmers right to cattle trade and reopen all cattle markets immediately which had been closed down by the concerned state governments.
- Make provisions in the cattle protection law to obligate state governments to purchase unproductive cattle providing market rate to farmers.
- Protect the crops from stray cattle’s by incorporating clauses in the law to obligate state Governments to preserve all stray cattle in shelters ensuring sufficient fodder, water and veterinary care
- The Union Ministry of Agriculture shall call a meeting of all the peasant and agriculture worker organizations to discuss protection of the rights of farmers on cattle wealth.
BAA call upon the peasantry to stand by the victims and rally against the nefarious designs of communal forces led by RSS to divide the people on the basis of religion. The BAA will take up struggles in the coming days till the above demands are met with and justice reached to the victims.
for Bhoomi Adhikar Andolan
Hannan Mollah, AIKS
Atul Kumar Anjan, AIKS
Sanjay Singh, AIKMS
Ashok Choudhury, AIPFWU
Sunit Chopra, AIAWU
P Krishnaprasad, AIKS
Inderjit Singh, AIKS
Swetha Tripathi, DSG