Lynching in the Name of Cow Vigilantism
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Lynching in the Name of Cow Vigilantism

Author: Thamanna Abdul Latheef calender  24 Jul 2018

Lynching in the Name of Cow Vigilantism

Considered holy by the Hindus, cows are a sensitive subject for political discourse in India that received an unsolicited attention since the BJP-led government came to power. The enactment of stringent laws to punish cow slaughter was carried out in various BJP ruling states across the country. As a result, India not only witnessed the closure of various so-called ‘illegal cow slaughtering houses’ but also, the people had to endure with the pain of numerous lives that were crumpled in the fanaticism. Recent mob lynching in Alwar on suspicion of cow smuggling narrates the ground reality.

In the recent past, as many as 124 people were also injured in the cow-related attacks and more than half (52%) of these attacks were based on rumours. 86% killed in cow-related violence since 2010 are Muslim, 97% attacks after the Modi government came to power. According to an analysis done by IndiaSpend, it iterates that Muslims were the target of 51% of violence centered on bovine issues over nearly eight years (2010 to 2017) and comprised 86% of 28 Indians killed in 63 incidents in India.

Terrifying Statistics

Of the 28 Indians who died over the seven-year period, 24 were Muslim or 86%. Indeed, 97% of these attacks were reported after Narendra Modi’s government came to power in 2014, and about half the cow-related violence – 32 of 63 cases – were from states governed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) when the attacks were reported. Surprisingly, national or state crime data do not distinguish general violence from cow-related attacks.

In the first six months of 2017, 20 cow-terror attacks were reported–more than 75% of the 2016 figure, which was the worst year for such violence since 2010. The attacks include mob lynching, attacks by vigilantes, murder and attempt to murder, harassment, assault and gang-rape. In two attacks, the victims/survivors were chained, stripped and beaten, while in two others, the victims were hanged.

States involved in Cow Vigilantism and Lynching

These attacks were reported from 19 of 29 Indian states, with Uttar Pradesh (10), Haryana (9), Karnataka (6), Gujarat (6), Delhi (4) Madhya Pradesh (4), and Rajasthan (4) reporting the highest number of cases.

No more than 21% (13 of 63) of the cases were reported from southern or eastern states (including Bengal and Odisha), but almost half (six of 13) were from Karnataka. The only incident reported in the northeast was the murder of two men in Assam in 2017.

About half the cases of cow-related violence – 32 of 63 – were from states governed by the BJP at the time; 8 were run by the Congress, and the rest by other parties, including the Samajwadi Party (Uttar Pradesh), People’s Democratic Party (Jammu & Kashmir) and Aam Aadmi Party (Delhi).

Cases Registered

Of the 63 attacks over eight years, 61 (96.8%) occurred after between 2014 and 2017, with 2016 reporting 25 attacks whereas, 20 attacks were reported in the first six months of 2017. In 5% of the attacks, there was no report of attackers being arrested. In 13 attacks (21%), the police registered cases against the victims/survivors.

In 23 attacks, the attackers were mobs or groups of people who belonged to Hindu groups, such as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal, and local Gau Rakshak Samitis. As per the reports, of the 63 attacks since 2010, 33 (52.4%) were based on rumours.

The rising intolerance is just a hint that depicts the current condition of internal disturbances in the country. This trend suggests how a secular country can be an unsafe place for the citizens. Even though the numbers are taking a steep rise, no political party or leader seem to interested in resolving the issues. The brazen acts of such violence should be deeply condemned.


महाराष्ट्र में अगर शिवसेना, एनसीपी और कांग्रेस के गठबंधन की सरकार बनती है तो क्या उसका हाल भी कर्नाटक जैसा होगा ?


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