News Leak Centre

Swami Vivekananda Would Be Attacked With Engine Oil Today: Shashi Tharoor

Congress lawmaker Shashi Tharoor has said Swami Vivekananda, the 19th century spiritual leader who took Indian philosophy to the West, would face violent attacks for endorsing humanity in present-day India.

Speaking at an event in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday, attended by social activist Swami Agnivesh, the senior Congress leader referred to the attack on the 79-year-old last month in Jharkhand.

“I’m convinced if Swami Vivekananda were to come to today’s India, he would be the target of these goondas that Swami Agnivesh has been. They will bring engine oil to throw at his face and will also try to knock him down on the streets because Swami Vivekananda would be saying, respect people. He would say humanity is more important,” Mr Tharoor said.

Swami Agnivesh, known for his work against bonded labour, was slapped, kicked around and verbally abused at Pakur on July 17, by a mob, which he said belonged to the BJP-affiliated youth groups who accused him of speaking against Hindus.

The state BJP has denied any complicity of their youth wing in the attack.

Mr Tharoor, who was targeted by the BJP last month after he said if the BJP won the 2019 national elections, India will become a “Hindu Pakistan” and the party will “tear up the Constitution of India and write a new one”, picked up his attack where he had left it.

“According to Ministry of Home Affairs statistics, in the past four years, 2,920 incidents of communal violence has been reported… 70 cases of cow vigilantism – of this 68 took place in the last four years under BJP rule,” he said, delivering an address titled ‘Standing Up to Hatred: Intolerance and Violence in Contemporary India.

Cow vigilantism: Scared Municipal Workers Stop Controlling Cattle Menace.

Mobs are taking over civic spaces in India. Public lynching, a barbaric form of political expression, seems to have become the new normal in India since the Modi government came to power at the Centre. The latest news report about cow vigilantism came from Mohali where Municipal Corporation’s workers are afraid to catch stray cows out of the fear of being attacked by the owners of cattle and cow vigilantes. As many as five such attacks have taken place on the municipal workers for the last one month.

“On March 10, our team went to Mataur to catch stray cattle. There, the owner of the cow that had been caught by our team, put a knife to the throat of one of our staff and threatened to slit it, if we did not release his cattle. So, we had to release the cow. That was not the first instance. People have thrashed us when we go to catch the animals,” rued municipal worker Kesar.

Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned cow vigilantes that killing in the name of cow is not acceptable but the mere words cannot stop the self-appointed gau-rakshaks, and one can even argue that the condemnation of PM Modi over cow vigilantism was far too gentle to make a slight bit of impact on the vigilantes.

Truth be told, there is no point shovelling Gandhian words at people if there is no legal back up to discourage this horrific new dimension in India. Modi can only preach to the choir. The vast majority of Indians agree it’s wrong. That’s why they were out there in force. The trick lies in dismantling the gangs and those who are instigating these attacks.

These cold-blooded butchers are unfazed can be seen in the barbaric way a 45-year-old Muslim was killed in Ramgarh, Jharkhand, a day after the PM’s warning, by a 100-strong-mob that felt it was justified in finishing him off for ostensibly selling beef.

In March 2016, two Muslim cattle traders were found hanging from a tree in Jharkhand, allegedly by cattle-protection vigilantes. In July the same year, cow vigilantes mercilessly beat up seven Dalit men for skinning a dead cow in Una district, Gujarat. More recently, in April 2017, Pehlu Khan succumbed to his injuries in Rajasthan after a mob attacked him for allegedly transporting cows.

The chilling statement of Rajasthan’s home minister over the news is more disturbing, he told: “It is illegal to transport cows, but people ignore it and cow protectors are trying to stop such people from trafficking them.” Statements such as this are the reason why these Gau Rakshaks did not blink an eye before taking someone’s life away.

The law ministry is toying the idea of new laws for hate crimes here and there; creating new laws on hate crimes is not on their radar at the moment. There are now more than 63 acts of cow related violence since 2014, and we are sure if the words are all Modi government has for it than more will going to occur ‘in someone’s name.’

#JharkhandLynching: BJP Leader Arrested In Muslim Trader’s Lynching Case.

A local BJP leader in Jharkhand’s Ramgarh has been arrested over last week’s mob lynching of a man who was accused of carrying beef in his car. Two others have also been arrested in the case.

Nityanand Mahto, the media in-charge of BJP’s Ramgarh unit, was picked up by the police on Saturday along with two others from the house of local party unit chief Pappu Banerjee.

On Thursday, Alimuddin, also known as Asgar Ansari, was driving his Maruti van when he was stopped and brutally attacked by a group of people near Bazaar Tand area in Ramgarh; his car was set on fire. A senior officer, RK Malik, said the police “swung into action” as soon as they heard about the attack and rescued Mr. Ansari, but he died in hospital.

Police say that Nityanand Mahto, 45, instigated the mob; a video of the incident, they say, shows that the BJP leader was not just present at the spot but he dragged Mr. Ansari out of the van. As he watched, the mob then thrashed Mr. Ansari mercilessly, say police.

The incident was described as a “premeditated murder” by senior officer RK Malik. He said the attackers seemed to have been lying in wait for Mr. Ansari, who was from the neighbouring Hazaribagh district and was “involved in some trading or business of meat.” The killers, he said, are suspected to be people who had business dealings with Mr. Ansari. He said he could not confirm whether Mr. Ansari was carrying beef.

On Friday, police made the first arrest in the case; a hunt is on for eight others.

The attack in Ramgarh came hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the killing of people by cow vigilantes is unacceptable. “Killing people in the name of gau bhakti (cow protection) is not acceptable,” said the PM, adding, “No person in this nation has the right to take the law into his or her own hands in this country.”

People across the country protested on Wednesday against the rising incidents of mob attacks and cow vigilantism across the country. Last week, a group of people on a train killed 16-year-old Junaid Khan who was traveling home to his village in Haryana with his brother and two cousins after a shopping excursion to Delhi ahead of Eid.