New Delhi, July 5: Probably, 52-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq from Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, was the first man who was lynched and killed by a mob for allegedly storing beef in his house way back in 2015.
After that several such incidents of mob lynchings carried out in the name of cow protection have been reported from across the country. In April this year, Pehlu Khan, a 55-year-old dairy farmer, was also killed for allegedly smuggling cows by a mob in Rajasthan.
Now, the families of Akhlaq and Pehlu have joined hands to demand justice for their loved ones who were killed by unruly mob.
On Tuesday, sons of Akhlaq and Pehlu met Home Minister Rajnath Singh to seek justice for their families. Senior CPM leader Brinda Karat accompanied them to the Home Minister's office.
Karat asked Singh to "monitor and follow up" on cases of lynching to provide justice to the families. The senior leader lamented the fact that the victims are being further victimised because of cases filed against them.
Karat told reporters that the Home Minister assured them that action will be taken against the culprits. She added that Singh "was at a loss to explain what steps his government is taking to ensure security of citizens, saying that it was a state government matter".
Karat and the two families submitted a memorandum to the Home Minister where five cases of attacks on Muslims, including the killing of 15-year-old Junaid Khan and the gangrape of two girls in Haryana, were mentioned.
Junaid was recently stabbed to death by a group of 15-20 men while he was travelling in a local train in Haryana. The attackers called Junaid and his brothers "beef eaters" and "anti-nationals".
"Unfortunately in many of the cases, the families of the victims are being further victimised. While it is true that such cases are to be dealt with by respective state governments, we believe that as Union Minister for Home Affairs, a strong intervention is required from your Ministry," the memorandum said.
Karat told Singh that it is "shocking" that the main accused in Junaid's case have not been arrested yet.
"On the contrary, those involved in lynching are inciting villages in the area to protest against even the arrests that have been made. They are emboldened by the soft attitude of the state government, which has not sent a single minister or official to condole the death of Junaid or to enquire about the health of his elder brother Shaqir," the memorandum said.