“We are outraged at the systematic violence. The state has done nothing; there has been a deafening silence from the powers that be.”
New Delhi: Braving heavy rain in some cities, thousands of people across the country took to the streets on Wednesday in an unprecedented citizens’ protest against recent incidents of mob violence across the country that have targeted Muslims and Dalits on one pretext or the other.
Holding placards that read: “Break the Silence”, “No Place for Islamophobia” and “Shed Hate not Blood” among others, the protesters said they had gathered to send out a message that they stood united in defence of all those citizens who were under attack.
The overall theme of the protest was ‘Not in My Name’ – a civic act of dissociation from the violence committed by individuals and organisations who claim to be acting in the name of the ‘nation’, the ‘public’, ‘Hindus’ and whose crimes have not attracted the kind of official condemnation and prosecution that the rule of law normally involves.
Apart from Delhi, similar protests were held in cities like Allahabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Jaipur, Kochi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Patna and Thiruvananthapuram.
At Jantar Mantar in the national capital, where more than 3,000 people participated through the evening, those who took part included family members of 16-year-old Junaid, who was stabbed to death on June 22 on board a train, which he had taken with his two brothers after Eid shopping in Delhi.
A group of passengers hurled communal abuses and attacked them after an altercation over seats. At least one of the alleged killers has said that he was egged on by others in the mob who told him Junaid and his brothers ate beef.
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