A Kashmiri activist arrested, a Dalit leader detained, a Muslim killed by Gau Rakshaks: Happy Birthday, PM

By Amit Kumar, TwoCircles.net

The lynching of Mohammed Akhlaq in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh was a gruesome incident. But that was last year. Now, Dadri has become just a reference point: every state is clamouring it seems, to have its own Dadri Moment, and since Akhlaq was beaten to death by a mob for “consuming beef”, similar incidents have been reported in Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir and of course Gujarat. Remember Una?

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Gujarat is still coming to terms with the Una incident, which shook the state to the core and saw Dalits of the region rise up in hitherto unseen defiance to government orders. What did not come as a surprise was the repression that the Dalits faced in the lead up to the rally and how attacks on Dalits had continued well after the Una rally was over. And given that Muslims had come out in support of the Dalits in the state in large numbers, attacks on Muslims too were expected. It did not take long.

A Kashmiri activist arrested, a Dalit leader detained, a Muslim killed by Gau Rakshaks: Happy Birthday, PM

Mohammad Ayub and Sameer Sheikh, who were in a Toyota Innova, were driving towards Ahmedabad with two calves on September 13 when they were accosted by cow vigilantes in three cars, chased, and their car rammed near Karnavati club in Ahmedabad. Pulled out of their car, the two were beaten with sticks and rods. Sheikh sustained head injuries but Ayub who bore the brunt of the thrashing succumbed to the beating, dying later in hospital on Friday evening.

The Ahmedabad police promptly filed a complaint in this regard: against the brothers, of course, under the Cow Protection Act.

After the friends and the family of the brothers protested, the police reluctantly filed complaints against the Gau Rakshaks also. But this is Gujarat. Allow me to explain.

Initially, the FIR listed the names of the attackers and their vehicle numbers. But in the second FIR the attackers were termed as ‘unknown’. The vehicle numbers: GJ27 C9077 and GJ01 CZ 1180 and the names of the cow vigilantes in the first FIR : Janak Ramesh Mistry, Ajay Sagar Rabari and Bharat Nagj Rabari have been ‘removed’.

As on Saturday afternoon, the family of Ayub refused to take the body of the deceased until the attackers were arrested. But his body was nevertheless brought by the police to the victim’s house against their wish, even as Ayub’s brothers and relatives, along with members of Jan Sangharsh Manch have been detained. Remember, the culprits here are Gau Rakshaks, a breed promoted almost exclusively by the BJP and its sister organisations. The action, if any, can and will have to wait.

The Ahmedabad Police had a slightly more important job to do. Jignesh Mevani, the most prominent face of the Una Dalit Atyachar Ladak Samiti (UDALS) and the spearhead of the Una protests, was returning from Delhi after attending a Dalit rally. Minutes before PM Narendra Modi was to arrive in Gujarat, Mevani was picked up from the Ahmedabad airport and detained.

The Gujarat Police, and the state government knew this would spoil our PM’s birthday party, so Mevani was picked from the airport even as his cousin, who came to pick him, was not even allowed to talk to him.

Earlier today, Mevani extended his support to Khurram Parvez, who too has been detained in Kashmir for speaking the Indian atrocities, and Prabhat Singh, a journalist from Chhattisgarh, who is being targeted by the state police and administration.

“Friends and well-wishers, I am technically released but still under house arrest kind of surveillance as a team a Ahmedabad crime branch is constantly with me. Just received the news that activist friends Shamsad Pathan and Asim Sheikh are detained for raising voice against Dadri part-2, that is killing of Mohammed Ayub of Ahmadabad by so called cow protectors. Just go out and support them.
Just go out and support Prabhat Singh of Bastar and Khurram Parvez of Kashmir. My detention is negligible, they need tremendous support,” Mevani said on Facebook.

On Saturday afternoon, Mevani was finally released and his team managed to reach Dholka to join the local villagers. They plan to gherao the Taluk office as promised a week back in the event that possession of the lands allotted to Dalits under an order dated 2006 isn’t handed over to them.

According to Dalit Camera, the Taluk Office has been surrounded by Police from all sides. “Undeterred, the villagers are sitting on a Dharna right next to the Taluk Office. Mevani also produced the Court Order which gives a clear direction about handing over of possession of allotted lands. Jignesh and team also observed two minute silence for Mohammed Ayub who has been killed by Gau Rakshaks in Ahmedabad,” Dalit Camera said in a post.

In the last day or so, Mevani, a Dalit leader, was detained because he has been fighting to ensure justice for Dalits, Parvez, a Kashmiri Muslim has been arrested for well, being a Kashmiri, and a Muslim, and for speaking out against the atrocities committed by the Indian administration in the Valley, and another Muslim has again been beaten to death by Gau Rakshaks.

It is a fitting birthday present for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Afterall, in his own words, the nationalists are with the BJP. The others have their work cut out.