Afghan students in Delhi organise candle vigils in solidarity with Farkhunda

By M Reyaz,,

New Delhi: Students from Afghanistan studying in different universities in New Delhi organised candle vigil in solidarity with with Farkhunda who was lynched by mob in Kabul

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Farkhunda was brutally beaten, dragged, killed, and burnt by a lynched mob, allegedly for burning Quran – investigating agencies latter denied any burning of Quran – on March 19.

Candle vigil outside the Afghan Embassy in New Delhi (Courtesy: Omar Sadr)
Candle vigil outside the Afghan Embassy in New Delhi (Courtesy: Omar Sadr)

On March 26, students from South Asia University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, University of Delhi, Jamia Millia Islamia, Jamia Hamdard, etc gathered outside the Embassy of Afghanistan n Chankyapuri Diplomatic Enclave and held a candle vigil in memory of Farkhunda, a 27 year old graduate in Islamic Studies.

Omar Sadr, a research scholar from Afghanistan at SAU, said, “She was mercilessly and inhumanely beaten, murdered and burned, by a mob in Kabul Afghanistan,” adding that her mother has clarified that Farkhunda stood for reformism and challenged the superstitious practices and beliefs that cost her life.

According to report, before she was lynched, Farkhunda had an argument with a man selling amulet outside the mosque.

Students performing Street Play in Jamia Millia Islamia.
Students performing Street Play in Jamia Millia Islamia.

Another protester added, “We also witnessed the clerics who justified this inhuman act and provided Fatwa in favour of those who killed and burned Farkhunda. The state should not allow these sorts of Mullas to misinterpret religion and utilize Mosques as institutions to propagate and teach violence.”

On March 27, a separate candle vigil was organised outside the Central Canteen of Jamia Millia Islamia in its main campus. At the protest in JMI, several Indian students also participated. A street play was also performed on the incident. Professor SA Muneem Pasha of the Department of Political Science, JMI also spoke on the occasion.

Farkhunda protest, Jamia

Latter a 10 points resolution was read by Afghan students that appealed to the Afghan Government to harness fundamentalist element, adding, “Words like ‘freedom’, ‘justice’ and ‘democracy’ are not common concepts; on the contrary, they are rare. People are not born knowing what these are. It takes enormous, and above all, individual effort to arrive at the respect for other people that these words imply.”

They also demanded strict punishments for those involved in this heinous crime, as well as against those police personnel on duty who failed in doing their duty. They also urged the government to raise awareness on the rights of women.

Besides Indian, several female Afghan students also took part in the vigil.