Mumbai: The country is rising and protesting the lynchings and murders in the name of cow protection (gau raksha) and possession of beef. This past Wednesday Maharashtra Samajwadi Party organised a large protest at Azad Maidan in Mumbai. In the protest ‘gau rakshaks’ were termed as terrorists and condemned. Thousands of protesters who had assembled in the large Azad Maidan called for arrest of these ‘terrorists’ and punishment through law. The protestors carried slogans that read, “Is mob lynching in the name of beef not terrorism?” and “Lynchers are terrorists. Arrest them. Punish them”
While addressing the crowd, Smamjwadi Party leader and MLA, Abu Asim Azmi spoke about the injustice and strongly criticised Modi government. He spoke about the people who lost their lives in the mindless violence perpetrated by Gau rakshaks. Hafiz Junaid, Pahlu Khan, Akhlaq Ahmad, Imteyaz Ahmad and others who were killed in the name of saving cows or just because of their Muslim appearance. Azmi painted a vivid picture of the brutality of their murders, the time and day of their deaths and what ensued at their homes afterwards. After listening to the heart-wrenching details of the events that led to the deaths of the deceased, many eyes were moist among the audience and a mournful silence gripped the crowd.
Azmi openly challenged Modi government that if the government does not put a stop to such murders and lynchings then not only will Samajwadi Party, but every peace and justice loving party in India will declare war against this injustice and against the misrule.
Azmi pointed out that he himself saw and counted 18 cows feeding on a trash dump so repugnant with stench that it was almost impossible for a human to stand there. The cows were in this condition in Mankhurd Shivaji Nagar (Gowandi). He said that he has raised voice in the Assembly that this is the condition of cows, but if a cow is killed then it leads to major violence? He reminded that the Prime Minister had promised that sheds would be constructed for stray cows that roam the roads, but till date nothing has ever been constructed.
In strong words he said that BJP and RSS played no role during the Independence of India. But these two parties are using the same divide and rule policy that the British had done during their reign over India.
Kalpana Jichorey from Dholiya said that Modi government is trying to sow the seeds of hatred between two communities in the name of saving cows and it will not be tolerated. She said that the atrocities that the ‘gau rakshaks’ are meting out in the name of saving cows are despicable beyond description.
Mufti Haroon Rasheed from Khandesh said, “When we look at the deaths from Pahlu Kahn to Hafiz Junaid, our hearts cry out that never before has our country seen such bad days. How the innocents are being murdered in the name of cows!”
Azmi also started a petition that demands that the gau rakshaks who are terrorising people in the name of beef be declared ‘terrorists’ under the UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act). He also demanded that the relatives of all those that ‘gau rakshaks’ murder be given a compensation of one crore rupees. He demanded enquiries be started on the DCPs and ACPs of areas where such violent incidents have happened and the attackers have been allowed to run away scot free. This petition was read out to the crowd by Chief Secretary of Samajwadi Party Meraj Ahmad Siddiqui.
Translated from Inquilab