Indian government backs mob lynchings targeting Muslims and minorities
26 July 2018
The Indian media is full of horrifying reports of lynch gang murders. According to police and government officials, at least eight people were killed by mobs across India in less than a week. India Today said 16 lynchings have been reported since May 10, resulting in the deaths of 22 people.
The victims were allegedly connected to child kidnapping, thievery, sexual harassment of women, or cow smuggling or slaughter. News items said the attacks were provoked by rumours spread via social media—Whatsapp in particular. In most cases, the victims were beaten or stabbed to death and sometimes their bodies were hung by mobs. At times the victims survived severe injuries, but were left unattended.
The majority of the victims have been Muslims or members of minority ethnic groups. An India Spend investigative article revealed that 86 percent of those killed in cow-related lynching were Muslims, and 8 percent low-caste Dalits. A recent outbreak of mob killings on rumours of child kidnapping targeted “strangers”—migrant workers and mentally disturbed people.
These attacks have created fear and intimidation among the targeted communities. Videos have been posted on social media, many by the attackers themselves, to arouse hatred against the victims.
Despite large sections of the public facing life-threatening conditions, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janatha Party (BJP) have kept almost total silence, just as they have done in past when the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) and the BJP’s other Hindu supremacists allies have whipped up communal violence under the pretext of preventing cow slaughter.
While Modi has occasionally issued brief statements,…