Nuh/Haryana: Slogans like “Bhaichara Ekta Zindabad” energised the mood as a whiff of air ruffled the red flags here on Sunday, days after attempts were made by the Right-wing elements to give communal colour to an an untoward incident of an alleged murder of a Muslim youth in the India’s most backward district.
Tensions were stoked in Nuh, a Meo Muslims-dominated district of Haryana, in recent days after mahapanchayats were held in multiple Haryana villages in support of those arrested for allegedly lynching 25-year-old Asif Khan.
A gym trainer by profession, Khan was reportedly abducted and assaulted to death earlier last month by a mob while he, accompanied by his two cousins, was returning to their village Khalilpur after buying medicines.
A mahapanchayat, attended by around 50,000 people, was held on May 30 in Nuh’s Indri village that saw speeches being delivered ostensibly to spread hatred and damage the social fabric of Hindu-Muslim harmony in the local area, while demanding the release of those arrested. The attendees included Karni Sena president Suraj Pal Amu, Hindutva outfit Bharat Mata Vahini’s chief Dinesh Thakur, and Sunil, district president of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s IT cell in Palwal, among others.
In a response, during a public convention organised on Sunday in Nuh’s Gandhi Park, people assembled to drive home the message that the attempts to “communalise” the recent incident will be countered.
Held under the guidance of Nagarik Manch of Mewat, a joint forum of multiple local organisations, a call was also given to promote unity and equanimity in the region.
“Today, outfits of farmers, ASHAs, rural workers and others have assembled here to vow that the social fabric of Mewat will not be damaged,” Inderjit Singh, vice president, All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) – Haryana told NewsClick.
Singh added that the real fight in this region of Mewat is for better accessibility to water, housing and education.
The agenda of the Right-wing outfits in the state is not only to spread hatred through communalisation, but to also divert focus from the farmers’ agitation, argued Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) leader Subhashini Ali.
In recent months, the farmers’ protest, completing over six months at the borders of the national capital, has gained steam in Haryana, with anger against the Manohar Lal Khattar-led state government rising.
“The local police have maintained that the [killing of Asif Khan] case is due to rivalry between the gangs. Yet, the communal forces in the state want us to believe otherwise. Their agenda is clear – to divert attention from the farmers’ protest and their issues,” she said.
Meanwhile, by the first week of June, a total of 13 people were reportedly arrested in connection with the incident; four were released days later, despite the eyewitnesses having named them in the FIR, according to a Quint report.
Illyas, who identified himself as part of deceased Khan’s family and who attended the convention on Sunday, stressed that it was not a communally-driven crime.
We demand that justice is delivered to Asif soon and the accused are punished for their crime, he added.
This article first appeared on www.newsclick.in