Hafiz Junaid Khan, 15, was beaten to death by fellow passengers on a moving train from Delhi to Mathura before abusing him for his faith on June 22, 2017.

RASHTRIYA Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Chief Mohan Bhagwat on Sunday, June 4, said that the DNA of all Indians is the same and that those indulging in lynching are against Hindutva. Addressing a function organised by the Muslim Rashtriya Manch, RSS’s minority wing, in Ghaziabad, Bhagwat said, “If a Hindu says that no Muslim should live here, then the person is not Hindu. Cow is a holy animal but the people who are lynching others are going against Hindutva. Law should take its own course against them without any partiality.”

His statement stirred a debate in the country with varied reactions from different quarters. The opposition politicians and Muslim groups reacted by saying that his words do not match actions on the ground. AIMIM President Asaduddin Owaisi highlighted the names of some of the victims of lynching including Junaid, Akhlaq, Pehlu, Rakbar and Alimuddin to counter Bagwat’s argument and said that hate against Muslims was the “product of Hindutva”.

Among those responding to Bhagwat’s statement is MD Qasim Faridabadithe brother of Junaid Khan who was killed by a mob in a moving train on June 22, 2017.

His brothers Hashim and Sakir were also injured in the mob attack. The incident had sparked a massive outrage and brought the issue of lynching under spotlight.

Qasim has written an open letter to Bhagwat. We reproduce it in the following:

Mr Mohan Bhagwat,

Whatever you said at the programme of the Rashtriya Muslim Manch, you should have rather said that in the programmes of communal organisations because that’s where the lynch mobs come from.

I wish you could speak at the time when innocent Hafiz Junaid was lynched.

I wish you could speak at the time when Inspector Subodh Kumar was lynched.

I wish you could speak at the time when Akhlaq was lynched by a mob who invaded his house in Dadri.

I wish you could speak at the time when Tabrez Ansari was lynched.

I wish you could speak at the time when Pehlu Khan was lynched.

I wish you could speak at the time when Shahid Khan was lynched.

I wish you could speak when Shambulal burnt Afrazul alive and video recorded it.

I wish you could speak at the time when Asif Khan was lynched.

I wish you could speak at the time when an innocent little girl called Asifa was repeatedly raped.

I wish you could speak when an old man was brutally beaten up and his beard removed from his face.

I wish you could speak up when people’s houses were burning in Delhi, people were left to fend for themselves. At that time you remained silent and kept watching, this is your reality.

I wish you could speak at the time when it was written outside a temple that Muslims are forbidden.

I wish you could speak when an innocent child was driven out of a temple and denied water.

I wish you could speak when Gauri Lankesh was murdered.

I wish you could speak when Mahant Narasimhanand of Dasna temple openly talked of violence.

All this happened in front of your eyes, you ignored, and today you talk about Hindu-Muslim dialogue, in which you yourself probably do not believe.

You love the murderers and sympathise with the victims!

This story first appeared on clarionindia.net