Illinois: The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos today noted the sense of outrage among millions of Indians, both within India and across the diaspora over the heinous murder of Mohammed Afrazul, a Muslim migrant worker from West Bengal, who was hacked with a cleaver and his body set on fire in Rajasthan’s Rajsamand district. The accused in the case, Shambulal Regar, is captured on video committing the crime and claiming that he committed the murder to “stop Muslims from love-jihad” – a term publicized by Hindu supremacist groups to refer to Muslim men supposedly marrying Hindu women and converting them to Islam as part of some grand conspiracy.
“We are appalled at the horrifying level of hate and violence that not only exists but is worsening by the day, particularly in the state of Rajasthan,” said Mr. Ahsan Khan, the National President of IAMC. “We call upon the Rajasthan Chief Minister Ms. Vasundhara Raje to uphold her constitutional duty to protect the lives of all citizens, regardless of caste and creed. This would include reining in organizations like RSS, Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad who have been on the frontlines of spreading hate and discord against the state’s Muslim minorities,” Mr. Khan further added.
Mohammed Afrazul’s killing is the fourth hate crime against Muslims in Rajasthan in the last nine months. Earlier in April, Pehlu Khan was brutally assaulted by self-styled cow vigilantes that led to his death two days later. Later in June, Zafar Hussein was killed after he objected to city officials photographing women defecating in the open. In November, cow vigilantes attacked Mohammed Umar and his colleagues who were transporting cattle, and Umar was later found dead. The perpetrators of these hate crimes are emboldened by the failure of state administration to effectively prosecute these cases of hate crimes. In September, the Rajasthan police closed its investigation into murder of Pehlu Khan and exonerated all six individuals named by Mr. Khan in his dying declaration.
Commenting on this issue, Ms. Seema Salim, National Vice President of IAMC, expressed grave concern at the rising tide of hate crimes in Rajasthan. “The Chief Minister, Ms. Raje must demonstrate the political will to ensure security of the state’s Muslim minorities and dismantle the culture of absolute impunity and protection accorded to the perpetrators of these hate crimes,” said Ms. Seema.