Communalism, Protests

Joint Protest in Delhi against Dadri lynching

Prime Minister Modi, Speak up on Dadri

Stop Dividing People on Communal Lines.

Progressive and democratic organizations came together in Delhi in the first major protest since Muzzafarnagar against the drive for communal polarization by Hindutva forces as also the first major protest against the Dadri lynching. On Sunday the 11th of October 2015, Delhi Committee of Indian Federations of Trade Unions(IFTU), PDSU (Delhi), NBS(Delhi), Pragatisheel Mahila Sangathan PMS) along with several student, youth, women, trade union and democratic rights organizations like Janhastakshep as well as progressive and democratic individuals held a march from Mandi House demanding that Prime Minister Modi speak up on Dadri , that Cabinet Minister and MP from Dadri Mahesh Sharma be removed from the Central Ministry and the guilty of the lynching be speedily punished. Over 800 people including over 300 working class activists and leaders, students and youth from several organizations and a large number of working class women many clutching the hands of their small children, as well as several intellectuals gathered at Mandi House to march to the Prime Minister’s residence. The march was flagged off by veteran Human Rights activist and ex President of PUCL Justice Rajinder Sacchar who was introduced by Shri Pankaj Singh, poet and member of Janhastakshep. Protestors held up placards, waved red flags, shouted slogans and burst out in songs of protests as the common banner was carried to the front of the procession and the march slowly wended its way surrounded by a massive police mobilization.

Barely had the procession proceeded down Feroz Shah Road and while the Prime Minister’s residence was still way off, the police abruptly barricaded the route. A fierce protest was held, with the activists of various organizations trying their best to climb over the barricades with the police preventing them. Eventually the protestors all courted arrest when the police refused to allow the march to proceed at any cost.

The protestors were detained at Parliament Street Police Station where a mass meeting was held in which the common memorandum addressed to the Prime Minister was read out and then leaders of each of the participant organizations as well as some individuals addressed the gathering. Among the other signatories to the memorandum were AIFTU (new), DSU, PDFI, People’s Front, AISA, SFI, Inqualabi Mazdoor Kendra, SFR, DSF, KYS, Nowroz and representatives of several other organizations.

Addressing the gathering, the speakers recounted the details of the lynching in Dadri. They pointed out a similar pattern in Bhalsava violence against Muslims in Delhi earlier where an unknown priest suddenly appeared at the local temple a few weeks prior to the incident. In Dadri it was the priest who made an announcement over the public address system at 10.30pm falsely alleging that a calf had been found butchered and that the villagers should proceed to Mohd. Akulaq’s residence. Over 100 people broke into his residence and lynched him to death, severely injured his son, beat up his 80 year old mother and young daughter (who is also the chief eyewitness till the son recovers). They dragged Mohd. Aklaq out of the house and 150 yards down the street before the police arrived. Several speakers pointed out that after Muzaffarnagar violence against Muslims the Hindutva organizations had systematically tried low level communal polarization in Delhi in several incidents in Khejuri Khas, Bavana, Trilokpuri, Bhalsava and also a string of incidents in Western UP surrounding Delhi. Academic, historical, scientific and cultural bodies are being packed with Hindutva supporters and rationalists and anti superstition activists like Pansare, Kulbargi and Dhabolkar have been killed while many others are being threatened. Thought control is being attempted and freedom of expression is being gagged. In this context several mentioned the series of Sahitya Academy awardees and members who have relinquished their awards and posts in protest.

IFTU speakers also spoke about the way Hindutva forces have raised a bogey around beef eating throughout the country from just prior to Id on 25th Sept. and the several attacks and killing on vehicles carrying animal skin. In Delhi a non Muslim MCD worker was beaten to death and in Myanpuri lynching was attempted and grevious injuries caused to two Muslims after deliberate rumour mongering about cow killing. IFTU leaders told the gathering that IFTU NC member Com Radheyshyam had taken a team of leaders of Denso India (where Mohd Aklaq’s brother works) to console the family and this team had given the first report of the entire incident. The IFTU office operated by Com. Radheyshyam was set on fire by an intruder and the UP Govt. is refusing to lodge an FIR while falsely claiming restoration of normalcy.

All speakers condemned the aggressively communal defence of the killers in Dadri by BLP leaders like Central Minister Mahesh Sharma, Sangeet Som and others. They condemned the silence of the Prime Minister who demanded he speak up on Dadri .

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